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Announcing the Recipients of our “Health Starts at Home” Grants

Housing can be a powerful platform for health. But, for this to be true, both affordability and opportunity must be present. In August, we released a request for proposals entitled “Health Starts at Home,” under our Housing Wrap-Around Services focus area, intended to increase opportunity available to residents of affordable housing communities. Projects funded through this RFP are expected create the conditions that foster self-sufficiency and/or stabilized health for low-income individuals and families. Over the next two years, we look forward to working with service and housing providers to better understand how to create those conditions.

Our priorities were to find programs that would:

  • Empower resident voices
  • Increase social connection
  • Activate physical spaces
  • Leverage existing assets

Today, we’re announcing grants totaling $2.6 million to 12 area nonprofits who are working to improve opportunity available to people living in affordable housing communities across Central Texas.

“While the connection between safe, stable, and affordable housing and health is well-established, less well understood are the factors and approaches critical to making housing a platform for health. Our goal in this initiative is to create a space to test ideas around the importance of social connection, resident voice and community design in developing on-site services and supports for residents of affordable housing.”

-Kim McPherson, Senior Program Officer, St. David’s Foundation.

Health Starts at Home Grant Recipients:


Bastrop’s Family Crisis Center received $189,000 to augment existing transitional housing with services to improve a sense of community.

The staff at Family Crisis Center in Bastrop.

Bluebonnet Trails Community Center in Williamson County received $100,000 to develop resident leadership in an affordable housing community in Granger.

Camp Fire Central Texas received $200,000 to provide families in the Taylor Square Apartments with three pilot programs to address childhood adversity and to provide housing supports.

The Taylor Square Affordable Housing Complex in Taylor, Texas.

The Economic Growth Business Incubator received $130,000 to pilot an entrepreneurial approach to band HACA residents together to develop businesses for selling crafts locally and online at four HACA sites.

Front Steps Inc received $320,000 to provide wraparound supports to 200 residents living at the Palms apartment complex.

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) received $315,000 to provide an urgent wellness model at one HACA property.

HACA’s Booker T. Washington complex in East Austin.

Integral Care received $100,000 to test models to increase social connection and community participation for adults with behavioral health needs.

Jeremiah Program received $175,000 to provide support to empower single low-income mothers to pursue post-secondary education, while preparing their children for success with quality early childhood education.

A class for new mothers put on by the Jeremiah Program.

Lifeworks received $300,000 to use design thinking and participatory research to help previously homeless, transition-aged youth cultivate social networks to achieve housing and economic stability.

Mobile Loaves and Fishes received $220,000 to expand the resident care team at Community First Village.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community First Village.

Saint Louise House received $292,000 to provide previously homeless low-income women-led families with affordable housing and wraparound services.

The UT Steve Hicks School of Social Work received $245,000 to create a prototype of a healthy community (thinkEast) co-designed by early residents recruited from the affordable housing wait list.

Links to News Coverage:

Link to coverage in Philanthropy News Digest.

Link to coverage in Giving City Austin.