David Austin Task Force on the Homeless Records
An Inventory of the Collection
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.
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.
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Donated by creator.
David Austin Task Force on the Homeless Records (AR.1996.006). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1995/035
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults.
Detailed Description of the Collection