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Photo by Patricia Lim/KUT. Tables are set up Wednesday inside the Montopolis Recreation and Community Center to provide resources for people impacted by last week's ice storm.

Austin opens centers for people impacted by the winter storm to get help

Thursday, February 9, 2023 by Chloe Young, KUT

Lee esta historia en español.

Austin residents recovering from last week’s winter storm can now access free resources and support at different locations across the city each day this week.

At a news conference Wednesday, Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup said the whole community is feeling the effects of this disaster, but Black and brown communities have it worse. She said that’s why the city chose to open the first of these multiagency resource centers in Montopolis.

“It’s close to those communities,” she said.

The resource centers, hosted by the city of Austin, partner agencies and community groups, will be open Wednesday through Saturday. This could be extended if needed.

“We will be here as long as we need to be here,” Sturrup said.

The centers will provide hot food, showers, laundry facilities, mental health support, charging centers and information on storm debris and damage. Staff will also be available to answer residents’ questions.

Sturrup said the resource centers are in a new space each day because a static location can’t reach every community.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the Montopolis Recreation and Community Center at 1200 Montopolis Drive
  • Thursday, Feb. 9, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the North YMCA at 1000 W. Rundberg Lane
  • Friday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
  • Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Austin Community College Riverside Campus, 1020 Grove Blvd.

Supplies and hot meals will be first-come, first-served, the city said, as it expects a large turnout. The Central Texas Food Bank said it had 500 meals it wanted to pass out by the end of the day Wednesday.

A person pushes a cart toward an open door

Patricia Lim/KUT. A worker wheels in hot meals from the Central Texas Food Bank to provide to residents who have gone without power.

“Our communities continue to demonstrate their strength and resilience, and we all continue to face challenging times that disrupt our way of life,” chief resilience officer Laura Patiño said in a press release. “We are excited to partner with Travis County and many community organizations to establish centers that provide information and resources for recovery from this winter storm and preparedness for future shocks and stressors.”

The Austin Disaster Relief Network will be on-site to help residents sign up for assistance with fallen trees, branches or debris caused by the storm.

“The storm was devastating for many of our neighbors in the Greater Austin region, particularly those with limited finances or physical challenges,” ADRN associate director Stephen Brewer said in a press release.

The nonprofit said it has received more than 1,500 requests for cleanup help in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties related to the storm. You can donate to ADRN to support its disaster response efforts.

virtual resource center is also available.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.

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