Austin History Center

David Austin Task Force on the Homeless Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Austin, David M.
Title: David Austin Task Force on the Homeless Records
Inclusive Dates: 1985-1986
Abstract: Dr. David M. Austin, faculty member at the University of Texas School of Social Work, was a member of the Austin City Council established Task Force on the Homeless in the mid-1980s. The meeting summaries, membership lists, city ordinances, correspondence and reports in this collection highlight the activities of the Task Force from 1985 to 1986.
Identification: AR.1996.006
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives Stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Task Force on the Homeless was established in the spring of 1985 by the Austin City Council at the urging of council member Sally Shipman to address the immediate issues faced by the Salvation Army because of recurrent rejection of proposed sites for a new shelter for the homeless population. Members were appointed from the business community, neighborhood organizations, professional community, special interest groups and social service agencies. A research group affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin was selected to provide technical assistance. At the first meeting on April 25, 1985, the 15-member Task Force was charged to accomplish the following tasks within 90 days: 1. Review all available data concerning the homeless in Austin; 2. Develop a profile of the homeless population, assess their present and projected needs and numbers, and recognize trends affecting the number of homeless people in Austin; 3. Research innovative programs for the homeless people in other American cities; 4. Utilizing this information, make recommendations as to the most suitable location for a new shelter for the homeless in the City; 5. Make recommendations to the City Council about how to mitigate the crisis of homeless. In July, 1985, the Task Force responded to the immediate issue of finding a new home for the Salvation Army with a recommendation of a two block area between E. 7th Street and E. 8th Street and Red River and Trinity (8th and Neches ultimately became the Salvation Army site and the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless was built at E. 7th and Neches).

On August 1, 1985, the City Council extended the Task Force for 120 days to enable the Task Force to address homelessness issues not necessarily related to the Salvation Army site. Ultimately the Task Force presented its final report to City Council on July 17, 1986. In that report the Task Force recommended that an Interim Planning Board be established to specify goals to be accomplished during the implementation of the five step program to provide needed services to the homeless and lessen the negative impact of homelessness on the community outlined in the final report. The Interim Planning Board for the Homeless was established by City Council resolution 861218-6 in December of 1986.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains records spanning the years 1985-1986 of the Task Force on the Homeless retained by Dr. David M. Austin, a Task Force member and faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. Included are Task Force membership lists; the official goals of the organization; meeting summaries; City Council resolutions outlining the suggested location for the Salvation Army; reports from the subcommittee tasked with investigating homeless issues in other cities; correspondence concerning Austin's appointment and resignation from the Task Force as well as communications concerning Task Force business; a 1984 Salvation Army annual report; and paper titled "Homeless in the Land of Plenty: Austin Local Problem" by Lori Cervenak-Renteria.


Arranged by material type.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Austin, David M.
Cervenak-Renteria, Lori.
Austin (Tex.). City Council.
Austin (Tex.). Task Force on the Homeless.
Salvation Army.
Austin (Tex.).

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF - Homelessness H 2010
  • AF - Salvation Army S0600

General Collection

  • A 362.58 AUT754F Austin (Tex.). Mayor's Task Force on the Austin Homeless. Final Report, 1989
  • A 362.58 AU754F V.1 Mayor's Task Force on the Austin Homeless. Final Report, 1986
  • A 362.58 AU754F V.2 Mayor's Task Force on the Austin Homeless. Final Report, 1986
  • A 362.58 AU Austin (Tex.). Interim Planning Board for the Homeless. Austin's Five-Step Plan to Fight Homelessness

Separated Material

The Final Report referenced in the General Collection related materials was separated from this collection.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by creator.

Preferred Citation

David Austin Task Force on the Homeless Records (AR.1996.006). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1995/035

Donation Date:1995

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, 1985
2 Interim reports - Subcommittee on Other Cities, 1985
3-4 Meeting summaries, 1985-1986
5 Members and charge, 1985, undated
6 Resolutions, 1985
7 Salvation Army 1984 Annual Report of Service, 1985
8 "Homeless in the Land of Plenty: Austin's Local Problem", 1986