Coronavirus/COVID-19 Health & Safety Information

ECHO is deeply committed to promoting the well-being of all Austinites during the ongoing Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.  On this page you will find official statements issued by ECHO regarding this health emergency as well as local and national resources to help members of our community stay safe and healthy.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 

Local Resources & Information

Food:

Housing


Health:

  • CommUnityCare
  • Ascension
    • General information about COVID-19 including symptoms and prevention strategies
  • 2-1-1
    • Dial 2-1-1 and choose option 6, available 7am – 8pm
    • Call for questions about COVID-19
  • City of Austin
    • List of bathrooms and showers open for use, information on community services, and closed facilities
  • The Other Ones Foundation
    • Operating a mobile hygiene clinic with showers, sinks, toilets, hygiene supplies, general harm reduction material, basic first aid, and food.  The clinic will be at a different location each day of the week
      • Monday: Sunrise Community Church@ Ben White and Menchaca
      • Tuesday: First Baptist Surface Lot @ 9th and Trinity
      • Wednesday: IH 35 and Ceasar Chavez (NE Side)
      • Thursday: Under IH 35 across from Hancock Center (Directly across the service road from Community Care)
      • Friday: TBD (Still looking for a good spot in the Cameron/183/290/St Johns area)
      • Saturday AND Sunday: Camp RATT (state-sanctioned camping site near Hwy 183 and Montopolis)

 

City of Austin & Travis County

Austin Public Health
City of Austin 
Austin Independent School District (AISD)
  • Information on closures and general FAQ
Travis County
  • Information and news about coronavirus including office closures
Detailed resource guide prepared by the Office of Austin City Council Member Greg Casar

If you are interested in donating items (tents, hygiene supplies, PPE, etc.) for our community’s COVID-19 response efforts, please contact The Other Ones Foundation or the Austin Disaster Relief Network.  ECHO is only able to accept monetary donations.

Statements from ECHO

  • Call to Action (3/18/20)

    Dear Community Partner,

    COVID-19 is a historical challenge facing the United States. In our community, persons who are the most at-risk to contract and face severe life-threatening symptoms from COVID-19 are the individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin / Travis County. Under everyday circumstances not having access to affordable, quality housing and healthcare is unconscionable. The guidance and recommendations being released to help educate communities on protecting themselves and others is not applicable for people who are experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. Current guidance lacks realistic and feasible strategies to ensure personal safety and decrease exposure and spread among homeless populations.  Basics that allow for proper and safe hygiene practices are non-existent for people experiencing homelessness such as running water needed for washing hands, soap for cleaning and laundering clothes, and access to bathrooms.

    Cities and states across the nation are considering measures such as the ones listed below:

      • Providing emergency hotel vouchers or rental assistance for those who are symptomatic
      • Suspending any and all encampment sweeps
      • Waiving fees at parking meters so that individuals may park safely overnight
      • Providing food assistance for families in need while the school year is postponed, immediate funding for emergency sanitation and cleaning supplies
      • Providing sanitation centers at either sanctioned or unsanctioned encampments

     

    ADVOCATE – As a member of this community, the time to take action is now. Contact your elected officials and demand that swift action be taken for measures like the ones list above.

     

    DONATE and VOLUNTEER – Many of the local shelters and providers rely upon the good will of donations and volunteers. Visit the “Partners” page on our website to see a list of organizations that serve our unhoused neighbors where you can make a huge impact. Partner organizations are in need of sanitation kits (hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, wet wipes, tissues, snack bars, socks).

    STAY UPDATED on the City of Austin’s Homeless Strategy website and continue being part of the conversation by following ECHO and these other organizations on social media.

    Stay healthy,

    Matt Mollica

  • Safety Statement from ECHO Leadership (3/13/20)

    Dear ECHO Partners,

    ECHO is concerned about the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our community, people experiencing homelessness, our partner agencies, and staff.  We are deeply committed to do our part to ensure that everyone stays healthy during this rapidly evolving public health situation. We realize that this situation may feel overwhelming for some people and we strongly encourage you all to reach out to your supervisors or other trusted staff. Our priority is to maintain a healthy community which includes the emotional wellness of our staff and community members.

    These are challenging times, and we know there is the potential for our programs, work, and timelines to be disrupted. In an effort to take every precaution and prioritize health and safety, ECHO will close our offices to the public, effective Monday, March 16th and staff will be expected to work from home, except for participation in essential community activities that are needed to keep homeless response system functioning.

    • Community Meetings: We are still evaluating what community meetings will continue to take place in the ECHO meeting space.  Please connect with ECHO staff if you are unsure about the status of a scheduled meeting. We are working to acquire technology to allow some meetings to be held virtually and we will be communicating that as we know more.
    • Reports and Staff Response Times: Please be patient with us as we navigate the impact of this change on our ability to meet anticipated community deadlines and needs.
    • Program and Homeless Response Supports: We anticipate continuing to provide essential duties and supports to the homeless response system for the foreseeable future to ensure that our community of providers can continue to serve people experiencing homelessness.  This includes continuing to provide coordinated assessments and support from the community housing team.
    • The upcoming PIT Count volunteer appreciation event will be postponed until further notice.

    We will keep you posted as the situation changes and resources evolve. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support your agency or people experiencing homelessness at this time.

    Questions, comments, or concerns may be sent to info@austinecho.org