The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) serves as the first point of entry into the homeless social service system for many of Austin’s adults experiencing homelessness, whether for the first time and also those who have been living on the streets for years. The ARCH is designed to assess client needs, provide information on how and where to access services, and meet the basic emergency needs of homeless adults. The ARCH also provides sleeping areas for homeless people to rest, day or night, and a Day Resource Center to get out of the elements during the day. More than 6,000 homeless men and women utilized the ARCH in 2012-2013, averaging approximately 423 individuals each day in the Day Resource Center and sleeping more than 200 men each night.
The building, which opened in 2004, includes a large common-use room, public showers, public restrooms, storage lockers, laundry facilities, a computer room, study spaces, and offices for various nonprofit organizations that provide a direct service to the homeless clients at the ARCH. A clinic, located on the first floor, provides health care and specialized services for the population. The second floor houses a large commercial kitchen and dining room that serves 100 meals each night to clients staying at the shelter. Located on the third floor is the 100-bed shelter with a rooftop terrace opening up to a panoramic view of the city.
Numerous co-located agencies make the ARCH a one-stop shop where clients can receive support for mental health, medical, legal, employment and other needs, all under one roof. Clients are encouraged to enroll in transitional services focused on helping them move from homelessness to affordable housing.