Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Violet KeepSafe Storage Program is Moving Locations to Better Serve People Experiencing Homelessness

The Violet KeepSafe Storage Program (VKS), which provides daily access to free storage services for individuals experiencing homelessness, will be moving to the former Austin Municipal Court building located at 700 E. 7th Street, on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
On Wednesday, January 18, VKS will open at 7:00am at the current location (612 E. 12th Street in the former HealthSouth parking garage), and close at 9:00am to accommodate the move.
VKS will reopen at 5:00pm on Wednesday, January 18 at the new location, on the first floor of 700 E. 7th Street.  The VKS program, which is run by the Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC), will continue to operate 7 days a week from 7:00am – 7:00pm.
Notice of the new location and closure after 9:00am on Wednesday, January 18 is posted at the VKS program, and participants are being notified verbally and with fliers when they come to VKS. Notification has also been shared with DACC stakeholders and through the Collaboration Technologies for Organizations Serving the Homeless (CTOSH) system, which provides real-time updates regarding homeless services to partners and service providers across the community.
“This program, which has been up and running since December 2020, provides a vital service for hundreds of individuals experiencing homelessness who need a safe place to store their personal belongings including vital documents, family memories, clothing, bedding, and more,” said Robert Kingham, Manager for Community Court Operations at the DACC. “We look forward to continuing the service at its new location.”
“The program is currently operating in an outdoor setting, which can be challenging in inclement weather, hot summer months and cold winter months for program participants and staff,” Pete Valdez, Administrator for the Downtown Austin Community Court explained. “The new location will allow for an indoor, climate-controlled environment, which will also improve conditions for storing belongings and has restrooms and running water accessible for staff and program participants.”
The City is moving expeditiously to bring the program indoors in advance of February, which historically is the coldest month of the year in Austin and to transition the VKS program to an environment that will enhance the experience for program participants and staff.