We had a muggy and mildly warm morning in Central Austin Sunday. In all 22 volunteers came to serve 114 people a fresh meal and cold ice tea, along with 98 people who went through our main personal care giveaway line. Canceling giveaways in March, April, and May of 2020 for due to COVID-19, we had to rethink our efforts to assist people experiencing homelessness the best we can and returned to modified giveaways in June 2020. What a wild ride it has been, and how far we have come in just over a year. Our organization, thanks to vaccines, shifted back to our original giveaway set up: tables, with individual items in bins for folks to choose what they want and need. Since June of 2020 we had been making premade bags with essential personal care items, food and water and handing them out using wagons. We managed to stay connected with some individuals along with meeting new folks going to our second site over at Terrazas Branch Library. Since last month, folks at Terrazas Branch Library have been moved. Some where housed, some moved to other locations where they won’t be fined for being without a place to call home.
Prop B will pose a returning challenge to already a mountain of challenges for our neighbors living outside in Austin, Tx. We are also happy to report some folks who had been camping in the parking lot across from APD Headquarters have been housed. Some have been on a waiting lists for housing for over seven months. Getting housing and services that are already stressed at capacity is sometimes a long wait for folks living outside. It is always great to hear that folks we serve are finally getting dire services needed to simply live.
This has is the second month we have gone back to a new normal operating in masked pre-COVID giveaway format, limiting volunteers to an essential number of spots, and had a large bottle of hand sanitizer available for everyone to use. Two people served food, 2 people helped keep the flow of the line moving well, two donation intake volunteers, nine people running the main line, and a dedicated photographer. A BIG thank you to all the volunteers.
This will be our fourth month having a warm meal served. Thank you Better Together ran by Kristin Harris. Thank you Linda, Judy, and Aiden for serving the meal and beverage to our clients. Check out the interview Virginia Miller did with Linda, a volunteer from our Better Together community.
Austin Humanists at Work was fortunate to have Janneke from Better Together volunteer at our giveaway Sunday. We truly appreciate all she does for the community. Janneke is giving the gift of life to a member of the Better Together community and our organizations wishes her and Alex healing vibes for their upcoming surgery. KXAN did a story on them, check it out HERE.
We are truly thankful to everyone who continues to donate to Austin Humanists at Work. Our organization is working to shift and change with the needs in Austin. ATXHW continues to change and learn how to help people navigate needed services in hopes to lift our neighbors living outside into places of security, health, and peace. Belief in community, belief that human hands solve human problems leads us to work with other area organizations, community leaders, and agencies working toward the same goal. Austin Humanists at Work is looking to grow more and more into assisting folks with lasting solutions. Keep a look out for future opportunities of how you can be part of our efforts. If you are interested in volunteering for the next giveaway please fill our Giveaway Volunteer Interest Form.
Our next giveaway is the fourth Sunday, July 25th, 2021. If you’re interested in volunteering please fill out our Giveaway Volunteer Interest Form and we’ll get back to you.
Have a wonderful month… check out our other giveaway images below. Thank you Emily for taking the pictures.