Officials: Austin’s mega-shelter for Harvey evacuees to close soon


As Harvey evacuees begin making their treks home or finding new places to live, Austin’s mega-shelter is winding down its operations and will close by the end of the weekend, officials estimate.

County executive Josh Davies said during Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday that the number of evacuees is dwindling. Right now, 163 evacuees are still in the shelter at the MetCenter, located in a Southeast Austin industrial park at 7000 Metropolis Drive, down from about 400 evacuees at its opening.

Davies said officials’ primary focus now is helping evacuees either return home or find housing, whether it’s a shelter closer to their home or making a new home in Austin.

Officials opened the mega-shelter Sept. 1, consolidating the evacuees who had been scattered across several Austin schools facilities. Within days, two buses took some of those evacuees back to Corpus Christi and five more buses went to Refugio.

The shelter’s multi-agency resource center, which provided services such as access to vital records, workforce solutions, housing and family services, closed Tuesday. City and county officials will continue to provide support from their regular offices.

Austin officials negotiated leases for two spaces at the industrial park for shelter operations. A subsidiary of Uber, which controls the lease for one of those spaces, has offered to waive the $53,000-a-month rent for up to three months.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Shrugging off critics, Straus confident in Texas House speaker win
Shrugging off critics, Straus confident in Texas House speaker win

Despite drawing an opponent for Texas House speaker a day earlier, state Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said Saturday he’s confident he will keep his role as speaker for a historic sixth term in 2019. “I wouldn’t run for re-election if I didn’t think I would have a leadership role,” Straus said, answering a series of...
Emergency crews respond to 2-alarm commercial fire in NW Austin
Emergency crews respond to 2-alarm commercial fire in NW Austin

Fire crews could see flames when they arrived at a commercial building off Research Boulevard in Northwest Austin about 8:30 this morning. The building is near the Balcones Country Club. Fire officials say the commercial fire was under control about 9:45 a.m. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. This is a developing story, check back...
Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill
Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill

President Donald Trump took a shot at U.S. Sen. John McCain early Saturday in a series of tweets, saying the Arizona Republican “never had any intention” of voting for the latest GOP health care bill. McCain’s rejection of the Graham-Cassidy proposal effectively ends the party's chances at repealing Obamacare -- for now. >>...
Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness
Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported. >> Read more trending news Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling. Malburg said she generally...
Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later
Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later

A Florida woman said she was forced to pay back thousands of dollars she received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina. >> Read more trending news  Deborah Campbell said the IRS came after her seven years after she got the money. "We were guaranteed that this was not needed to be repaid," the Jacksonville...
More Stories