Basic Needs

At the ARCH, homeless men and women are able access a number of basic needs services, including showers, hygiene items, clothing, laundry, lockers, phones, mail, and messaging. Front Steps’ Basic Needs services include a Day Resource Center, an Identification Program, a Document Bank, and more.

Arch Day Resource Center


The ARCH Day Resource Center is a hub of activity seven days a week, with hundreds of men and women accessing various services each day.

Information and referral about both Front Steps and other community resources is offered informally by Client Service Specialists at the Resource Desk or by phone 24/7, 365 days a year. For individuals and families facing the crisis of homelessness, simply sorting through multiple needs and making a plan for how to begin to address these needs can be overwhelming.
Front Steps serves as a central point of assessment and referral, helping provide guidance through this challenging time. Printed up-to-date resource listings on a range of topics are available, and Front Steps’ staff members assist clients in mapping transportation to other agencies.

Showers/Restrooms – Showers are available to all clients, men and women, from 7:00 am until 3:30pm daily. Restrooms are available to all clients, men and women, from 6:30 am until 5:30 pm. Basic hygiene items are provided based on availability. Soap and shampoo are always available. Front Steps is unable to provide towels.

Laundry – Laundry facilities are available seven days per week, from 6:00 am-1:00 pm.  You can sign up as early as 5:45 am and the last load must be started by 1:00 pm. ARCH clients are allowed to do one load of laundry every 5 days, based on availability. Detergent is provided.  Rules for laundry can be explained by a Client Services Specialist, but are also posted in the laundry room.

Phones and Messaging – Phones are available during hours of operations for local and long distance calls. Client phones are located next to the Resource Desk. Phone calls are limited to 1 call at a time and for 5 minutes at a time. You must dial 9 first to make an outgoing call, and phones will not take incoming calls.

Important – You can have potential employers call the confidential Job Related message line at 512-305-4175.

Postal Mail – Homeless individuals needing an address to have personal mail sent to can use the following address:

(your name) P.O. Box 2509
Austin, Texas 78768

Mail is delivered Monday through Friday only, and can be checked daily at the soap desk on the second floor during posted hours. You must show your HMIS ID to receive mail.

Lockers – Front Steps facilitates access to more than 400 lockers at the ARCH for client’s use. Lockers are distributed via a lottery system on the 15th month (the following Mon if the date falls on a Sat or Sun). Lockers must be re-registered each month between the 1st and 10th and can be kept indefinitely, as long as the locker is being used properly and the client does not have housing.

Computer Lab – The Computer Lab is available to be open from 8:00am-5:00pm seven days a week, given a volunteer is present. The first two computers near the volunteer desk are reserved for job searches and resume writing. The remaining computers can be used for recreational purposes. There is a 30 minute time limit if there are others waiting to use the computers. Computer and computer lab rules are posted in the lab.

Additionally, a second lab on the second floor of the ARCH provides instructional classes on hardware and software topics. Clients are encouraged to check out the schedule should they wish to participate in one of these classes.

Town Hall Meetings: Town Hall Meeting are held on the third Wednesday of every month for clients to express concerns, suggestions, and comments. They are also a time for Front Steps staff to discuss changes and issues.

The Document Bank – The Document Bank is a secure filing cabinet designed to keep client’s most important documents safe. Clients can keep the originals, or copies, of documents at the Document Bank for as long as needed. However, client must resign the consent form at least once every two years to continue storing documents.

The Document Bank is located on-site and is open to clients during staff availability. For clients working with a Case Manager, they can assist with documents during Case Management appointments.

The ARCH Document Bank provides a safe and secure place to store the documents most people would store in a lock box or safety deposit box. At this time, the Bank accepts the following documents: driver licenses, passports, citizenship certificates, naturalization certificates, Dept. of Homeland Security documents, military identification cards, birth certificates, court orders, school records, insurance policies, vehicle titles, military records, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, voter registration cards, pilot licenses, concealed handgun licenses, Texas inmate ID card, and consular documents.