St. David’s Foundation has announced $7.8M in grants to organizations in Central Texas to support local capacity to respond to family and individual homelessness, accelerate the pace of affordable housing production, and continue system-level improvements – all contributing to the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. Although connected to our other work, these investments are outside of the Foundation’s existing strategic priorities and are expected to be one-time in nature to fuel local efforts to create sustainable solutions to Austin’s homelessness challenges.
St. David’s Foundation’s approach to housing has evolved to advance system solutions while also responding to the immediate service needs of individuals today. “Safe, stable, affordable housing is a platform for health,” said Dr. Edward Burger, President and CEO of St. David’s Foundation. “Our focus is on advancing health equity. We believe that potential is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Expanding access to safe, stable, affordable housing with amenities to promote health is a powerful tool to advance equity.”
Growing research on the connection between housing and health demonstrates how housing interventions, particularly for low-income populations, can improve health outcomes and decrease healthcare costs. Housing has now moved from a field separate from health to a precondition for health.
Investments that support efforts and services across the spectrum, from emergency shelters to data systems that drive resource decisions to permanent supportive housing, are all essential elements required to advance health equity in Central Texas.
“The Austin Street Outreach Collaborative (ASOC), an initiative for racially equitable, data-driven, and sustainable service delivery for the unhoused population, came together through a community-driven process using system-level data as well as conversations with community members impacted by homelessness programs,” said Matt Mollica, Executive Director of ECHO. “The result was an immediate positive impact on our Homelessness Response System. ASOC partners have completed more than 2,000 housing assessments and have substantially grown the number of people connecting to services through street outreach teams. Individuals living on Austin’s streets deserve our best efforts to help them rebuild safety and stability in their lives – support from St. David’s Foundation helps us to ensure an equitable system as we work to end homelessness in Austin and Travis County.”
The organizations awarded funding are working to address these critical needs of our community. Grant recipients include:
- Austin Community Foundation – $2.5M
Expand the ability to accelerate the development of affordable housing.
General operations and specific community projects and pilots over two years.
- Foundation Communities – $2M
Construction for amenities at two new family properties and predevelopment for new supportive housing at Phase II of Community First Village.