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October 30, 2023

City of Austin launches text alert system for people experiencing homelessness

AUSTIN – The City of Austin launched a new text message alert system last week that notifies people experiencing homelessness about severe weather and other emergency situations.

About 3,500 people received the first message directly on their mobile devices on Wednesday, October 25. The message included information to help people prepare for the cold, rainy weather, according to the City. The text service builds on successes during the pandemic that shared resources and safety information with unhoused people.

The contact list comes from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), our community’s person-level database providers use to coordinate services and connect people to housing opportunities that meet their wants and needs. Outreach teams will soon begin an education campaign to enroll even more people in the alert service, the City says, while they continue to develop the service to provide other important information, like times and locations of resource events.

Read more on the City of Austin’s website.

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