Low temperatures tonight in Austin are expected to hover in the mid 30s. Between that and the damp conditions brought on by the weekend's rain, FrontSteps, the group that runs Austin's Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), will implement their cold weather action plan tonight.
Spokesman Jim Cooley tells KUT News the plan involves having homeless people who want to escape the cold, dank weather come to the ARCH at E. 7th and Neches St. before 5:00 p.m. Both men and women will take part in a lottery to determine where they'll be staying. Men will be housed first at the ARCH, then at other sites around town as needed. Women are housed first at the Salvation Army, then other facilities are used. By having people come to the ARCH first, FrontSteps can get a count of how many people--both men and women--they're serving that night.
"We're sort of like the 'cold weather shelter center' here," Cooley said. "By 5:00, we'll know whether we'll be sending [women] to a church shelter or next door to the Salvation Army."
Temperatures tomorrow night and Wednesday night are forecast to hover near 30 degrees in Austin proper, so they expect to see a lot of people over the next few nights.