Austin Street Center pauses to remember and give thanks for Jim T., a longtime friend and volunteer who recently passed away. Jim helped to touch lives through providing and serving meals at Austin Street Center.
Jim shared a story of when his church group made a variety of sandwiches to serve at Austin Street Center, and a lady walked away because they didn’t have a pimento cheese sandwich. He brought two dozen pimento cheese sandwiches the next time, and this same lady shared with Jim that she hadn’t eaten that sandwich in years—her mother made them for her when she was a little girl.
“Those pimento cheese sandwiches touched her heart in ways I can’t imagine, and it took no more effort on my part than I would have expended making some other type of sandwich,” said Jim. “I realized that simply being homeless doesn’t mean that you lose your humanity, or forfeit the right to have personal tastes and preferences. And while simply providing food may meet the physical requirements to stay alive, maybe providing something that they really like might help them really live. Since that encounter, I see missions as so much more than the physical activity. I see it as showing God’s love through the physical action and touching someone’s life.”
Support Austin Street Center on the May 5th North Texas Giving Tuesday Now. Early giving is available now through May 4. Thank you, Dallas Cowboys, Communities Foundation of Texas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas for spearheading this special effort to raise critical funds for COVID-19 relief and recovery.
Our homeless response system is stepping up to the challenge, while operating under unusual constraints. For more than 36 years, Austin Street Center has worked tirelessly to bring an end to homelessness in North Texas, and we are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our clients, despite these unchartered times.
According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homeless individuals infected by COVID-19 are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than the general population.
It is our mission and sincere desire to continue to take care of those who need us—despite the challenges we face. Together, we must take care of those who need us. Together, we will prevail and emerge stronger.
Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that the world is facing an unprecedented challenge. Like you, we are deeply concerned and want to do what we can to help keep our communities and families safe and healthy. As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, I want to send a personal note to share our plan of action and reaffirm Austin Street Center’s commitment to keeping our staff, clients, volunteers, guests, and wider community safe.
From the onset of this situation, we have been in continuous communication with Dallas County’s Health & Human Services and Dallas City Mayor’s Office, while receiving additional guidance from Housing & Urban Development, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC); therefore, you can expect continuing communication as we receive new information.
We have implemented the following precautionary measures to help protect you and to help prevent the spread of infection:
Continuous cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surface areas
Increasing hand sanitizer locations.
Educating and basic screening of clients upon intake
Decreasing bed capacity and reconfiguring beds to increase spacing
Decontamination process of HVAC systems
Creating a new 5 tier Infectious Disease Prevention & Response Policy & Procedure, including decision support tools and cough alert process
Additionally, in order to limit exposure at the shelter, we are canceling all group and individual volunteers activities through March 20th. Once we re-establish volunteer service, we ask our volunteers to consider their recent travel, age, and any potential underlying health conditions before signing up to volunteer.
If you are a meal service provider and would like to deliver food on your scheduled date, please contact Libby Card at Libby.Card@austinstreet.org or 214-295-9361.
Austin Street Center’s Humble Beginnings Luncheon on April 29 is currently being re-evaluated, and we expect updated information soon on a potential postponement plan.
We need your help! We are being asked to expect an increased demand for our services to feed the hungry, provide a safe and healing environment, and restore dignity for all those who need our assistance. During this time, we ask you to consider our request for financial and in-kind support for additional staffing needs, cleaning supplies, client assistance, and purchased meals for those churches and businesses who can no longer provide. Your support to our clients are critical, and we continue to be in awe of what you do for our community experiencing homelessness every day. For more information, go to https://www.austinstreet.org/give/donate/
We recognize this is a challenging time for all, and we remain deeply committed to the safety of our clients, staff, volunteers, guests, and our wider community. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and keep you apprised of any updates.
Please take care of yourselves and each other,
Daniel Roby Chief Executive Officer Austin Street Center