Six months into the Marshalling Yards

Six months into the Marshalling Yards
The new Radio Coffee in Montopolis. I biked there from my neighborhood in Southwood, largely relying on the sidewalk of the SH 71 frontage road. Looking forward to getting there via the Bergstrom Spur someday soon.

Last July, as part of an aggressive effort by Interim City Manager Jesus Garza and Mayor Kirk Watson to get people off the street, City Council voted to turn a city warehouse in Southeast Austin into a 300-bed emergency homeless shelter. The contract to operate the shelter, awarded to vendor Endeavors, was $9.1 million for one year.

The response from homeless advocates was mixed. Some welcomed additional shelter space, despite the high cost and suboptimal location/facility, while others saw it as a short-sighted bandaid that would divert funds from worthier investments, notably permanent supportive housing.

Last week, Garza and Homeless Strategy Officer David Gray offered a six month update on the shelter's operations. I think the presentation they gave to the Council Public Health Committee was interesting but incomplete. It's not clear yet to me whether the omission was intentional.

Incomplete data

Since the shelter opened in August, 577 people have come in for various lengths of time. The graphic below shows where all of those people are now: