The Amarillo Housing First Mobile Shelter Unit (MSU) is a one of a kind homeless shelter on wheels for portable use during extreme winter weather and when existing shelters become overcrowded.
The 20 foot box truck conversion provides emergency shelter for up to 8 overnight guests and 2 staff, and serves as a warming station during the day for dozens of homeless who have nowhere else to escape the deadly Texas panhandle cold.
Supervised by AHF staff in partnership with WTAMU student volunteers, the MSU is a low-barrier shelter which involves placing a minimum number of expectations on people who are accommodated. By having few barriers or rules, individuals are able to access more services.
How was the MSU created?
Construction of the Mobile Shelter Unit is a work in progress and now that the interior walls are insulated and sheathed with plywood, modifications to insulate the ceiling and floor are underway. Soon, wall mounted bunk beds will be installed to replace the temporary folding cots.
When completed, the MSU will operate with either on-board generator power or shore power with standard RV hookups, and will include a vented and ducted forced air heating system. Future plans include construction of a laundry and bathroom facility in an enclosed trailer towed by the MSU to provide a self-sustaining safe shelter with complete accommodations.
The MSU program is made possible through community partnerships with Green-Lite Bail Bonds, Wrangler Pumping, Amarillo Brown Bag Runs, and student volunteer support from the WTAMU College of Education and Social Sciences. Please contact Amarillo Housing First to contribute and become involved in the Mobile Shelter Unit Program.
How does the MSU help?
The Mobile Shelter Unit also serves as an outreach opportunity where potential clients are exposed to the primary purpose of Amarillo Housing First which is to assist chronically homeless individuals in obtaining permanent housing using the Housing First model. After emergency deployments of the MSU, shelter guests requesting further assistance are able to complete a needs assessment and intake.
Client Advocates then guide clients toward their goals by navigating existing resources and filling in the gaps as needed. After clients have secured permanent housing, our Client Advocates continue to meet with clients regularly to help them achieve their personal goals. After only 3 MSU deployments in its first month of use, two formerly homeless clients have already secured permanent housing and are now making strides toward achieving their goals.
Case Managers then guide clients toward their goals by navigating existing resources and filling in the gaps as needed. After clients have secured permanent housing, our Case Managers continue to meet with clients regularly to help them achieve their personal goals. After only 3 MSU deployments in its first month of use, two formerly homeless clients have already secured permanent housing and are now making strides toward achieving their goals.
Want information on our Mobile Shelter Unit?