Provide refuge for homeless women in Downtown Austin and the surrounding area
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Homeless women face unique challenges among the homeless community. The most common of these challenges is sexual assault. Research shows that the homeless population is 15-25% more likely to face some type of assault than the rest of the general public. Homeless women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts and need a safe haven where they are confident that they will not be victims of sexual assault. The Salvation Army reports 60 beds in its Austin Shelter for Women and Children. Among these, 54 are reserved for women with children and only 6 are available for women without children. While women with children and the children themselves are and should be of utmost importance, there is a void when it comes to the protection and sheltering of women who do not have children. I do not propose that women with children are replaced by those without; however, I do propose that there be more housing available for women in general. The City of Austin needs to make womens' safety top priority by allocating more funds to homeless shelters like the Salvation Army that have initiatives in place specifically for homeless women.
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