During the colder months in Austin, Tx the city enacts locations called cold weather shelters. These places serve to protect homeless citizens from inclement weather including brutal cold fronts.
Places like homeless shelters like the ARCH or the Salvation Army locations are turned in to makeshift shelters so that people have a warm place inside to hide from the cold.
Cold weather shelters have to be activated by the city and can be used between November and March.
According to the city the cold weather shelters happen through a coordinated effort from both city and local organizations like churches.
"On nights when the temperature drops below freezing, Front Steps (ARCH) coordinates with local churches and city emergency officials to open additional space for temporary overnight shelter. In winter months call the Cold Weather Shelter hotline, 512-305-4233, for updates on shelter availability," said the city website.
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The biggest problem the city has with enacting the cold weather shelters decree are that it is hard to communicate with homeless people across the city that often have no way of knowing about the shelters. They are typically announced the day of or the day before. Such short notice doesn't offer much time for people to pack up their camps and get to the shelter.
The city asks that you help inform homeless Austinites of their option to house at a cold weather shelter and to help donate warm coats and blankets.