As the situation with COVID-19 progresses around the world, many nonprofits are seeing unprecedented need in their own communities. When Random Acts partnered with UpWest to raise money for COVID-19 relief through our COVID-19 Support Network, the goal was to “help the helpers.” One such opportunity arose in Dallas, Texas, where the Austin Street Center provides aid to those experiencing homelessness.
Answering the Call for Aid in Dallas
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need is greater than ever. There are, on average, 4,471 individuals in need of shelter on any given night in Dallas. That’s a 55% increase of homeless encampments in Dallas in 2020 compared to 2019. Austin Street Center is now serving as a 24/7 shelter instead of just an overnight emergency shelter. Austin Street Center relies on community support to house, feed, and care for those experiencing homelessness in the Dallas area.
Each client served through Austin Street Center has access to basic needs such as the Daily Walk-In Emergency Shelter (a safe place to sleep, with meals, showers, clothing, and hygiene products), the Education and Employment Resource Center, a computer lab, mental and medical health care, substance use recovery, benefits navigation, housing-focused case management, spiritual support (if so desired), and diversion services to prevent homelessness.
Thanks to our partnership with UpWest, we were able to make a sizable donation to help Austin Street Center continue the shelter’s important work during this crisis.