As part of our coverage leading up to the elections, KUT News is taking a closer look at each of the seven bond propositions Austin voters will see on their ballots in November. Prop 17 shores up the city’s Health and Human Services efforts.
The $11 million outlined in Prop 17 would pay for several facilities-related projects, including renovations at Austin’s women’s and children’s shelters.
The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless offers showers, laundry facilities, counseling and shelter to Austin’s homeless population – men, women, and children. But overnight accommodations are only available to men. That’s where Prop 17 comes in.
“The bond proposition put forth will allow for construction or the expansion of an existing shelter over on the East Side,” says Jennifer Denton. She’s with Front Steps, which runs the ARCH via a contract with the city. “That will provide a space not only for more women and children, but for the single women on the street that at the moment have nowhere to go.”
Bob Corona is with the Health and Human Services Department. He says the funding provided by the bond package would also go toward a neighborhood center, a clothes closet, an emergency food pantry and for senior nutrition – if the proposition passes in November.
“We feel very fortunate that we’ve gotten this far in the process,” Corona says. “And we’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to provide some of these services and activities much needed [by] clientele we have in some of these areas.”
Other projects that would benefit from Proposition 17 include infrastructure improvements at the Betty Dunkerley campus, and parking lot improvements at the Far South and Montopolis clinics.
The City of Austin’s seven bond propositions are a part of 18 total propositions Austin voters will decide on this fall, including changes to the city charter.