projekt202 pitched in over the weekend to help the largest emergency homeless shelter in North Texas. On Saturday, May 14, more than 20 projekt202 volunteers -- including Dallas staff and family members -- scrubbed, cleaned and moved over 400 cots for the men and women served by Austin Street Center.
Founded in 1983, Austin Street Center in Dallas is an emergency shelter that serves men ages 45 and older and women ages 18 and older. It helps the most vulnerable persons in Dallas' homeless population: 53% are men and women ages 45-59, 30% are men and women over the age of 60, and 17% are women ages 18-44.
Each person who finds shelter with the center is provided with showers, clothing, meals and a safe place to sleep. In 2015, Austin Street Center provided a combined 127,750 safe nights to over 2,675 people in need.
Once their basic needs are met, those seeking shelter can begin working on other aspects of their lives that will help them transition out of homelessness. Austin Street Center offers programs and services such as work readiness resources, including a staffed Resource Center, computer training, job skills training and an Employment Specialist Case Manager (at least six people every month find employment through the center); assistance for veterans (on a typical night, the center shelters approximately 40 veterans); spiritual support and interdenominational services; and mental and physical health care screenings.
The dedicated Austin Street team is committed to providing compassionate, individualized care for each person who comes to the shelter for help.
To meet this charitable mission, the nonprofit organization relies on community support throughout the Dallas area. Its funding comes from individuals, churches, corporations and service groups (42%); special events (33%); and foundation grants (25%). In addition, volunteers provide much-needed help and labor with projects like scrubbing and cleaning sleeping cots.
"Numerous folks told me, 'It is hard work, but worth it. What are we doing next?'" said Senior UX Designer Allison Wolf, who led projekt202's volunteer efforts with the center.
Solutions Architect Drew Loomer echoed those sentiments. "It was hard work, but made you feel like a better person for doing it," he said.
Digital Designer Chase Hignight agreed, adding, "Having an opportunity like this to give back is one of the many benefits of working for projekt202."
"It was truly a memorable day. My daughter can't stop talking about it," projekt202 Creative Director Jenny Bean said. "I can't be more thankful for the invaluable lessons and conversations we had today."