You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Event offers mobile showers, haircuts to homeless


During South by Southwest, pop-up events from surf simulators to a replica “Twin Peaks” diner will take over downtown Austin. But on Saturday, there’ll be a different kind of pop-up event on Red River Street focused on helping Austin’s homeless youths.

The Pop-Up Care Village, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will offer services to the city’s homeless population, including mobile showers, haircuts, free clothing, food and resource referrals provided by several Austin vendors. Although the event is focused on youths experiencing homelessness, organizers said, no one seeking assistance will be denied services.

Everyone comes to Austin to show off during South by Southwest, said Leo Ramirez, CEO and founder of Encast Inc., a local charitable giving startup. But it wants to show that there’s a vulnerable population that needs help and that there are ways to make a difference, he said.

Encast has partnered with San Francisco-based nonprofit Lava Mae, which launched its mobile hygiene service about three years ago when it began converting public transportation buses into mobile showers for homeless people. Since then, Lava Mae has created pop-up events with other nonprofits that expand beyond mobile showers to include a variety of services. Saturday will be the first time Lava Mae will offer the pop-up event outside of California.

“Homelessness destroys people’s sense of dignity and self-worth,” said Doniece Sandoval, founder and CEO of Lava Mae. “With hygiene comes dignity and with dignity comes opportunity.”

The Rio Grande Valley native said bringing the event to Austin will hopefully inspire others to help create change for the city’s young homeless population.

This year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Austin a $5.2 million grant to tackle youth homelessness. In Travis County, more than 2,000 students experienced homelessness during the 2015-16 school year, according to a 2016 report compiled by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

On Friday, another event drew attention to the homelessness issue. Nearly 200 Mobile Loaves & Fishes volunteers, homeless people and formerly homeless men and women carried signs in downtown Austin proclaiming “Welcome Homeless.” The signs were a nod to a new book by Mobile Loaves & Fishes founder Alan Graham.

In an effort to bring more visibility to social impact, Ramirez will be moderating a SXSW panel called “Shut Up and Do Something” at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the J.W. Marriott, rooms 201 and 202. The panel, which requires a festival badge, features community leaders, like Sandoval, who have turned ideas into action.

Other panelists include 17-year-old Rachel Parent of Canada, who is the founder and director of Kids Right to Know. The nonprofit focuses on educating youths about food safety. Parent has met with Canada’s former prime minister and health minister to discuss the group’s concerns. She’s also a blogger for the Huffington Post and was named Woman of the Year by Elle magazine Quebec.

Actor Danny Pintauro, best known for his role as Jonathan Bower on the TV show “Who’s the Boss?,” will also be featured on the panel. Pintauro has become an activist after revealing that he’s HIV positive and has battled a meth addiction. He’s now an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

“We hope people walk away inspired,” Ramirez said. “We want this to motivate attendees to pursue a movement of their own.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin police eyes $300,000 bomb robot to save human cops from danger

The Austin Police Department is planning to drop just over $300,000 for a new bomb squad robot that’s aimed at keeping officers out of harm’s way. City documents show the department is seeking approval for a contract with Remotec Inc. for an Andros FX explosive ordinance disposal vehicle, which is designed to knock out suspicious objects...
Deputies: Boy dies after drunken driver strikes 5 children walking home from bus stop
Deputies: Boy dies after drunken driver strikes 5 children walking home from bus stop

A 13-year-boy died Friday after he and four other children were struck by a drunken driver while they walked home from a bus stop Thursday in Florida, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. John Camfield, 48, of Davenport, was driving his Kia Rio on Allegheny Road near Athabasca Drive at about 5 p.m. Thursday when witnesses said he leaned forward and...
Buda hosts Wiener Dog Races this weekend
Buda hosts Wiener Dog Races this weekend

The 20th annual Buda Wiener Dog Races takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at City Park. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older and free for children 11 and younger. Along with the dog races, which begin at 10 a.m. both days, there will be a pet parade, spelling bees, arts and crafts booths, bouncy houses, cook-offs, live music and...
Valerie Jarrett on Trump’s win, Obama’s legacy and how to raise women up
Valerie Jarrett on Trump’s win, Obama’s legacy and how to raise women up

When Donald Trump visited the White House a few days after winning last year’s election, a photograph captured staffers and top members of the Obama administration looking markedly discontent. Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving senior adviser to then-President Barack Obama, could be seen leaning cross-armed against a column in the Rose Garden...
Community news: Barbecue cookoff, demolition training this weekend

TRAVIS COUNTY CENTRAL AUSTIN Nonprofit dental clinic extends hours Manos de Cristo Dental Center will start extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The nonprofit dental clinic at 4911 Harmon Ave. recently expanded its professional team and decided to extend the operating hours to better...
More Stories