SLIDESHOW: Salvation Army Austin breaks ground on new shelter and community center

Salvation Army Austin broke ground on two new facilities Thursday morning.

City and county officials thanked the Salvation Army Austin and the community for making the project possible. Through fundraising endeavors and donations from the community, the Salvation Army Austin was able to raise $19.2 million to help fund both projects.

Mike Nasi, Salvation Army Austin advisory board president, said the new shelter, known as the Rathgeber Center for Women and Children, located at 4523 Tannehill Lane, will provide emergency shelter to women and children in the Austin area and will have a capacity of about 213 people. The current shelter, located next door, can only accommodate up to 60 people at one time.

The new community center, named the Citadel Corps Community Center and Area Command, is located near the Mueller Development at 4700 Manor Road. The facility is slated to include a gymnasium, kitchen, multi-purpose/community room, a chapel for worship services and the area command's administrative offices.

"This is a huge step forward to be able to serve woman, children and youth in the community," Nasi said. "This is an exciting time to be bringing this to the Mueller area."

According to a press release from the Salvation Army Austin Area Command, there is a "quiet crisis of family homelessness" in Austin, with up to roughly 500 women and children on the wait list for emergency shelter daily.

The Salvation Army's 125th anniversary capital campaign, which began in 2014, has paved the way for new facility construction. Donations are still being accepted on the Capital Campaign website. Both projects are projected for completion by May 2018.

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