There is a quiet crisis

of family homelessness in Austin.
#InvisibleAustin

You may recognize our red shield because you have visited a Salvation Army Family Store, or have seen our red kettles at Christmas time. But what you may not know is that we are behind the scenes 365 days a year addressing one of Austin’s most tragic and hidden crises: homelessness.

For 125 years The Salvation Army has been the silent, steady partner meeting the needs of a seemingly invisible population. In the shadow of skyscrapers, new condominiums and Austin’s dazzling economic success, stand hundreds of women and children, shut out of the progress and prosperity that has become synonymous with our city.

The Salvation Army is the safety net that this vulnerable population relies on for basic survival services and we need your help to serve them. Our reach is vast, but the need is greater – 74 percent of The Salvation Army’s clients sheltered in Austin last year were women and children. They are the fastest growing segment of Austin’s homeless population. This is a crisis for our prosperous community.

That’s why we’ve embarked on our 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign. This $15.6 million campaign has enabled us to provide essential services to the growing population of people in crisis in our community. Through renovated emergency shelter, a new shelter for women and children, new facilities to administer our programs, and a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for women, The Salvation Army will help pull people back from the edge and into the mainstream of our society.

Learn More
Download the 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign packet

Problem

Educational and recreational programs needed for at-risk youth in East Austin.

Solution

Build a new corps community and administration center.

Problem

Critical need for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services for women.

Solution

Create a new women’s drug & alcohol rehabilitation program and housing.

Problem

Downtown shelter and social services center in need of repair and renovation after almost three decades of constant round-the-clock use.

Solution

Desperately needed renovation and expansion of services at the downtown shelter and social services center.

Problem

The Shelter for Women and Children is over capacity, causing us to turn away women and children every day.

Solution

Build a new shelter for women and children

15.6
Raised to Date

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Austin, join us in shining a light on this invisible population and help us solve the crisis of women and children experiencing homelessness in our city.

“We invite you to join us as we take on these important new challenges to meet human needs in our community.”
– Lt. Col. Henry Gonzalez

Share #InvisibleAustin with your friends using our toolkit:

Fact #1

Each night, The Salvation Army Austin provides a bed to 420 neighbors in need.

Fact #4

73 percent of female adults improved their financial status after taking advantage of services provided by the Austin Shelter for Women and Children.

Fact #7

Last year, The Austin Shelter for Women and Children (operated by The Salvation Army) remained at 110% capacity for the duration of the year; there simply is not enough room to accommodate those in need.

Fact #2

79 percent of case-managed persons at the Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center went on to safe housing in 2014.

Fact #5

In 2014, 74 percent of The Salvation Army’s clients sheltered in Austin were women and children.

Fact #8

Homelessness is especially stressful for children. They worry they will have no place to live or no place to sleep, and school attendance is often poor.

Fact #10

The total number of beds at The Salvation Army emergency shelters has not increased in 10 years, while the city of Austin’s population has increased by 29 percent over the same time.

Fact #3

80 percent of clients who participated in The Salvation Army Employment Service Program improved their employment status.

Fact #6

Roughly 400 women and children are on the wait list for emergency shelter in Austin daily. On average, more than half of those on the list are children.

Fact #9

67 percent of those sheltered at the Austin Shelter for women and children are kids who attend public schools, preschools and child care just like any other child.

Capital Campaign Speeches and Coverage

The Salvation Army is rising to the challenge to meet the growing needs of our community with our capital campaign, Invisible Austin, to shine a public spotlight on the crisis of family homelessness.

Watch the videos to the right to learn more!

Visit Salvation Army Austin’s YouTube Channel

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Raised to date

"The Shelter for Women and Children is over capacity, forcing us to turn away women and children every day."

− Lt. Col. Henry Gonzalez, Salvation Army Austin Area Command

"My time at the shelter allowed me to think, prepare and get things in order. I feel renewed. I am renewed."

− Kimberly, Salvation Army Austin Client

"The Salvation Army is helping me get back to what my kids know as normal."

− Debra, Salvation Army Austin Client

"The needs in the Austin metropolitan area continue to grow, and The Salvation Army has a tremendous responsibility to be a part of the solution."

− Lt. Col. Dorris Gonzalez, Salvation Army Austin Area Command