Austin cut contracts with Front Steps amid strategic changes

On Thursday, the city council approved an item related to this agreement.

AUSTIN, Texas – Citing upcoming operational changes at the agency, a spokesperson for the city of Austin confirmed on July 15 that the city will terminate its contracts with a homeless service provider. Front Steps Inc

The decision was made after Front Steps’ board of directors recognized the need for strategic changes within the organization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement provided by the city.

For now, Front Steps helps work Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), located in downtown Austin at 7th and Neches Streets, near the Red River Entertainment District.

On July 28, the Austin City Council approved an item authorizing the negotiation and implementation of an agreement with Urban alchemy To undertake the operation, this period will not exceed 13.5 months from August 15th at an amount of $4,143,350.

The 100-bed shelter, which opened in 2004, includes a large common room, public showers, public restrooms, storage lockers, laundry facilities, a kitchen and dining room, a computer room, and offices for staff to serve clients. who experience A homelessness clinic is also located on the first floor.

You can read the full statement of the municipality on July 15 below:

“The City of Austin supports a wide range of critical community services for people experiencing homelessness, provided primarily through contractual agreements with local nonprofit organizations. City Monitors both programmatic results and organizational stability of its vendors. Technical support and resources are provided to help organizations provide effective services of the highest quality to our community members. This need has greatly increased due to the environmental and operational challenges caused by the pandemic.

“Over the past several months, city staff have spoken with the board of directors of one of these vendors, Front Steps, about the organizational challenges faced by the nonprofit and have hired a third-party consultant to help develop an action plan. . Plan.

After much discussion, the Board of Directors has recognized the need for an intensive strategy and organizational overhaul to better prepare our staff and leaders to provide homeless services in the wake of the pandemic. While Front Steps redefines its operations, the city has decided that all Front Steps contracts will be terminated no later than September 30, 2022. This ensures continuity of city-funded services.

Over the years, Front Steps staff and board members have demonstrated a commitment to serving people experiencing homelessness. However, to minimize potential service disruption to customers, CityIt is identifying alternative nonprofit vendors to assume city programs currently offered by Front Steps.

“The City of Austin will continue to support quality services for those experiencing homelessness and looks forward to working diligently and collaboratively to secure critical elements of our homeless services.”

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