Front Steps helps homeless individuals find a decent, safe, and weather-protected place to spend the night, operating three emergency shelter programs; two are year-round while the third is an expansion of shelter beds on very cold winter nights.
ARCH Emergency Night Shelter provides overnight shelter and showers to up to 230 single, adult men each night. 100 men sleep in bunk-style dormitories and receive dinner on-site. An additional 130 men are provided a mat for floor sleeping. The majority of the bunk beds, and some of the mats, are reserved for clients who are actively participating in a case management program. The remaining bunks and sleeping mats are distributed nightly via a lottery process. There is no limit to the time or number of nights that an individual may access shelter through the lottery. ARCH Overnight Shelter’s doors open at 6:00 pm for clients with a reserved bunk, followed by the clients with reserved sleeping mats, and the lottery process starts once the case management clients have been admitted. Any single, adult male who wishes to try and get a bed at the ARCH, should plan to arrive and be in the building no later than 6:15pm nightly.
ARCH Day Sleep is available to all homeless, single, adult females, as well as those single, adult men who meet set criteria. This criteria for men’s day sleep includes those who were turned away from ARCH Emergency Night Shelter the previous night due to lack of space, clients who work overnight hours, or those who have a medical need. Any client interested in Day Sleep should inquire with a shelter manager for more information and approval. Day Sleep is available 7:00am-2:30 pm daily. Any client participating must first take a shower and then must check in by 8:00am.
Front Steps coordinates with local churches and city emergency officials to open additional space to provide temporary overnight shelter on freezing nights. Austin’s lack of shelter space forces many homeless people to sleep outside during winter months. Several years ago, Front Steps and Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) developed the Cold Weather Shelter Program, coordinating local churches and community volunteers to provide shelter in church facilities on nights when the temperature drops to freezing.
We have multiple churches that provide shelter for single, adult men and women throughout the week. The number of men/women sheltered at these churches ranges from 20 to 100 per church. The volunteer-staffed shelters offer a warm place to sleep, and a welcoming environment to homeless men and women.
Interested clients or community members can call the Cold Weather Shelter hotline, 512-305-ICEE (4233) daily during winter months (November-March) for updates on shelter availability.
To request more information about the Cold Weather Shelter Program, or if you, your organization or your church would like more information about serving as freeze night volunteers and/or host site, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the Cold Weather Shelter team will respond to your inquiry.