The Austin Chronicle

Austin Homeless Service Organizations That Need Your Help Now

By Austin Sanders, March 19, 2020, 4:40pm, Newsdesk

As the new coronavirus spreads through Austin, many in our community are struggling to cope with forced isolation and social distancing measures, but most are able to meet their basic needs. The situation is much different for our unhoused neighbors.

Already vulnerable – and in some cases, more susceptible to the respiratory illness that can accompany COVID-19 due to underlying health issues – people experiencing homelessness are wondering where they should go if they need to quarantine. Some, more than usual, are wondering where their next meal will come from.

READ MORE: People Experiencing Homelessness Brace for More Changes in Support Systems

Shelters and the service providers that help people experiencing homelessness are also wondering how much longer they’ll be able to continue their work, and what changes will come to the assistance they provide. (Read more about the concerns of people experiencing homelessness and the provider system in this week’s issue: “People Experiencing Homelessness Brace for More Changes in Support Systems.”)

But we can help. The Chronicle has reached out to a multitude of nonprofits and governmental entities that are working harder than ever to provide for those without homes. The most pressing need for many is money. Fundraising efforts are expected to take a hit, so an easy way to help is to donate online to the following organizations. Financial donations are the most efficient – and safe – way to help support these groups. If you’d prefer to contribute material items, some are also accepting those, but please contact organizations before dropping off any donations unless there are explicit directions for drop-off below.

Ending Community Homelessness Coalition


ECHO is the lead agency helping to end homelessness in Austin-Travis County. Donations given to them can be distributed to the other organizations listed below, so they are a good central repository for giving. Their number one need is cash donations.

• hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, wet wipes, tissues
• food bars and socks
• tents (to help with social distancing)
• flyers that communicate good hygiene and basic services
• masks and protective gear for clinicians

ECHO staff are still working out the best way for items to be delivered.

Integral Care


Integral Care provides essential outreach to people experiencing homelessness, including supplies and medical care. They have been distributing “hygiene kits” to people without homes, but they have run out of supplies for them, and are in need of:

• small hand sanitizer or sanitizer
• bar of soap or small liquid
• soft toothbrush
• toothpaste
• packages of tissues
• gallon-size reusable, sealable plastic bags for the kits

Additionally, IC is in need of:
• bottled water
• packaged food items such as granola bars

Ship or deliver items to: 1430 Collier Street, Austin, TX 78704.

Or, donate

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army operates three shelters in Austin: one Downtown open only to men; a women and children’s shelter in East Austin; and a family shelter in East Austin. Their needs include:

Amazon Wishlist
• hand sanitizer
• sanitizing wipes
• disinfecting spray
• toilet paper

Items can be shipped or delivered in-person to the Salvation Army Austin’s administration office at 4700 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78723.

Caritas of Austin


Caritas of Austin provides critical services to people exiting homelessness; such as financial assistance, workforce training, and access to healthy food.

• non-perishable food items for pantry
• hand sanitizer

Shipments or in-person deliveries are accepted at the downtown office and Community Kitchen at 611 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701. If the in-person option is chosen, people can drive-up to the loading/unloading dock on 7th St. and call 512/479-4610. A staffer will come out and pick up the donations.


Austin Resource Center for the Homeless

The ARCH is Austin’s primary shelter, located Downtown. Their day center is currently closed to help slow spread of the virus, and they are most in need of the donations that will help them stay open: financial support and protective gear for staff.

• hand sanitizer
• sanitary wipes
• masks


Trinity Center

Like the ARCH, Trinity Center’s Downtown day center is currently closed, but they are still handing out food on weekdays (breakfast at 9am and a snack and water bottle at 10am). People receiving their mail at the center can continue checking in weekdays from 8:30am-2pm.

• Mail checks to: 304 E. 7th Street, Austin TX, 78701


The Other Ones Foundation

TOOF helps connect people experiencing homelessness with work, a need that will be even greater as the economic toll of the pandemic spreads.

• hand sanitizer

In-person deliveries are accepted weekdays from 9am-5pm at 7815 Highway 290 W, Austin, TX 78736.



LifeWorks serves youth experiencing homelessness in Austin. Donations of the below items will primarily be used by the Street Outreach Team, emergency shelters, and the youth resource center. All donations must come in new, unopened packages.

• camping tents
• throw blankets
• hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes or alcohol swabs
• disposable gloves
• paper towels
• facial tissue
• antibacterial soap
• forehead thermometers or strips
• grocery store gift cards

In-person drop-offs will be accepted weekdays from 11am-1pm at 835 N. Pleasant Valley Road.


Mobile Loaves and Fishes

MLF operates the Community First! Village in eastern Travis County. Much of their operation depends on volunteer support, but given the need for social distancing measures, that volunteer capacity has diminished. For now, monetary contributions are the best way to help.



Casa Marianella and Posada Esperanza

Casa Marianella helps displaced immigrants become self-sufficient by providing housing, ESL classes, legal assistance, and medical care. Many Casa Marianella residents have children, and their requested donation items reflect that need.

• Email [email protected] for access to Amazon wish list and grocery needs
• Email [email protected] to inquire about helping a family who has recently left shelter by providing groceries or food
• thermometers
• paper eating supplies
• bleach
• Lysol wipes
• Lysol
• hand sanitizer
• face masks
• toilet paper
• paper towels
• OTC Medications

Donations can be shipped to or dropped off at 821 Gunter Street, Austin, TX 78702.


SAFE Austin

SAFE Austin provides shelter, housing, legal services, and a multitude of other assistance to people of all genders, age, status, or sexual orientation. Because of the vast spectrum of people they help, their needs include:

• baby wipes
• diapers
• baby formula
• feminine hygiene products
• hand sanitizer
• disinfectants

Items should be shipped to the SAFE Donation Warehouse at 1515 Grove Blvd., Austin, Texas 78741. New, unopened items can also be dropped off in the donation bins outside of the warehouse.


Family Eldercare

Family Eldercare helps seniors age with dignity by providing services that include guardianship, in-home medical care and counseling, and housing. Financial contributions are the best way to help right now.



Foundation for the Homeless

Foundation for the Homeless helps Austin families with rapid rehousing, assistance acquiring food, and help paying utility bills.

• Clorox wipes
• dish soap
• toilet paper
• pillows
• can food
• sanitary pads
• shampoo
• conditioner
• soap

Donations should be dropped off at PO Box 140946, Austin, TX 78714. Email [email protected] for more information.

Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center


Sunrise is powering through the pandemic, for as long as they are able, by continuing to provide food and services to people who have come to rely on the food and case management services offered by the church. They are in need of financial contributions, as well as protective items:

• non-perishable foot items
• hand sanitizer
• masks
• gloves
• sanitary wipes

Shipping items to the church is preferred, but they can also be dropped off in-person. Ship or deliver to 4430 Menchaca Rd. Austin, Texas. Call ahead before delivering in-person 512/522-1097.


Angel House

Angel House is another church-sponsored organization that intends to continue their operation as long as possible. They are still serving lunch on weekdays, and are most in need of financial contributions, as their needs are changing daily.



Street Youth Ministry


Street Youth Ministry helps about 100 youth and college-aged people who have experienced homelessness. About 60% are housed, but will be suffering financial hardship from the local economic downturn. The org is in need of financial assistance, as well as food that can be easily prepared at home, as well as food that can be eaten without preparation.

• boxed food (like mac and cheese, rice mixes, and instant potatoes)
• canned food canned soup
• phone battery banks
• hand sanitizer
• soap
• cleaning supplies

Saint Louise House


Saint Louise House helps single mothers transition from homelessness into a more stable life by providing apartment style housing and supportive services tailored to the need of each individual family. Financial donations and the following items will help:

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• baby wipes
• hand soap
• hand sanitizer
• laundry detergent
• Fabuloso

In-person deliveries are accepted by appointment. Email [email protected] to schedule one.


Editor's note: This story has been updated since publication to include more specific information about Caritas of Austin and to include more organizations and their needs.

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