The effects of Prop B were definitely in play for our October giveaway, as the artificial displacement caused a decentralization of the normal folks we serve each month. Nevertheless, we had 13 volunteers pre-pack 220 bags the day before and 17 volunteers to distribute items at our main locale under the I-35 bridge.
A huge shout-out to so many individuals who sent in donations via our wishlist (austinahh.org/Amazon) and to our PayPal (austinahh.org/Donate) over the past month. It means the world and helps us to keep our efforts going strong. Much love to I Support the Girls - Austin, Foundation Beyond Belief, Atheist Community Of Austin, and the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas for helping to provide toiletry items, food items, and hygiene supplies for those with periods.
The Metro Capital Buses and Rail are free for the month of October, so we were able to relay that great news to our 75 recipients at the primary locale. The next Transit Assistance Program (TAP) distribution will occur on the 1st Sunday of December. The 4 recipients in Focused-TAP program were still sent passes that can be used when regular, paid service resumes. The coffee and ice-cold juice went over well, but it definitely was a lower volume of people overall. As such, the remaining bags were sent with each volunteer vehicle to distribute near their neck of the woods. That way, the Northside, West, East, and far South Austin could be covered.
In addition, thanks to a lovely volunteer's suggestion, we also covered a park nearby where we found an additional 13 people. 2 of those detailed the heartbreaking reality that their possessions were taken (presumably in one of the sweeps) while they were temporarily away from their tents, so they didn't have anything left except the items with them once they returned.
We will be in contact with providers and community organizations over the next month as plans are solidified on the best way to continue serving our community. If we make a major change of locale, it will be posted on our Facebook page and our website to ensure volunteers are well-informed ahead of time. Thanks for your patience and continued support; you all make this effort happen (for the last 12 years, no less ).
Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless
www.AustinAHH.org / www.Atheists.Help