Texas

New storage space for those who don’t have a home in Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s homeless storage facility will move indoors starting Jan. 18.

The Violet KeepSafe Storage (VKS) program provides daily access to free storage services.

The City of Austin said Tuesday VKS is moving into the former Austin Municipal Courthouse at 700 E. 7th St.

VKS will open at 7 a.m. Jan. 18 at 612 E. 12th St., in a former HealthSouth garage, according to city officials. The videoconferencing will close at 9am to allow crews to move.

The VKS will reopen at 17:00 on January 18 on the first floor of the former city court building.

The court moved out of this building in 2020.

The VKS program is administered by the Austin Community Court (DACC). Open seven days a week from 7:00 to 19:00.

The city said people are being notified of the move when they use videoconferencing, DACC, and through the Technology Collaboration for Organizations Serving the Homeless (CTOSH) system.

According to the City, CTOSH “provides real-time updates on homeless services to partners and service providers across the community.”

“This program, which has been in place since December 2020, provides a vital service to hundreds of homeless people who need a safe place to store their personal belongings, including vital documents, family memories, clothing, linens and more,” the post reads. Robert Kingham, Community Courts Manager at DACC in a city release. “We look forward to continuing service at the new location.”

“The program is currently running outdoors, which can be challenging in inclement weather, hot summer months, and cold winter months for program participants and staff,” Pete Valdez, public court administrator for downtown Austin, explained in a city announcement. . “The new location will create a climate-controlled indoor environment that will also improve storage conditions, while toilets and running water will be available to staff and program participants.”

The city has said it wants to move the program indoors until February, which it says has historically been the coldest month of the year in Austin.

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