City of Austin

Project Overview

The EWB-GA Local Project Team has partnered with Austin-based nonprofit The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF) to address the lack of clean drinking water and sanitation (handwashing, showers) available to the local homeless population.

Homelessness in Austin has become a divisive issue. When Proposition B passed in May 2021, the City began dismantling camps in public areas without providing alternative places for campers to settle. Consequently, people experiencing homelessness have moved to less visible locations (e.g., into the woods), which means less access to sanitation and other services.

The project team will address this issue by designing portable showers and handwashing stations – a modular transportable design to serve multiple camps.

Community Overview

A recent census counted a homeless population in Austin of 3,160 people (ECHO 2021 Census), a slight decrease from the previous year but an 8% increase from 2019. While some members of the homeless community are employed, others support themselves through community donations.

Current Project Status

The EWB-GA Local Project Team has held meetings with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Public Health and conducted visits to local homeless camps. House Bill 1925 passed in May 2021, prohibiting city-owned parkland for homeless camps – requiring a new client within the city. The EWB-GA Local Project Team is now working with the Austin-based nonprofit, The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF), and is moving the project forward in conjunction with the EWB-USA Community Engineering Corps.

Getting Involved

The City of Austin Local team meets virtually on Tuesdays.

For more information or to get involved, please email