Austin City Manager Marc Ott made news this week when he revealed that he voluntarily went homeless for 24 hours a few months ago. Ott said he wanted to experience firsthand what it was like to live on the streets.
"I'm not prepared to accept the invisibility of being homeless. I just can't do it," Ott told KUT News. "I know I'm not alone in that. There are a lot of people working hard every to try to help people get back in their feet and into a position where they can reengage and in a way allows them to maintain a sense of dignity or restores that."
A group of Austinites is working towards that goal this Saturday. The Homeless Resource Fair at the Pan Am Recreation Center aims to connect homeless people with community resources: everything from social services to haircuts. The fair's coordinator, Meg Rose, says her greatest reward is seeing people overcome the things that were keeping them homeless.
"The people that do become housed, they work really, really hard to get there, to access services, to find employment, to sustain their housing themselves," Rose said. "It's the most beautiful thing."
Rose says the Homeless Resource Fair is still looking for volunteers to set up on this afternoon and help out with the event on Saturday. Find out more here.