Knowing that so many people could be faced with homelessness in such a short matter of time is a scary thought to absorb. Add that to the trends Austin has been seeing over the past few years and it’s no surprise this issue is such an urgent and necessary topic in our city…and I’m not referring to the ordinance passed in June that decriminalizes the act of sitting, laying or camping in public places. I’m referring to the need to find solutions that help build new lives for Austin’s homeless.
The number of people who experience homelessness in Austin has been increasing rapidly, from 7,054 in 2015 to 7,992 in 2018, and we know that number is even higher today.
Another important statistic to take note of is that 43% of the people experiencing homelessness in Austin are earning an income through employment. So, by providing not only food and emergency shelters, but also transitional/permanent housing and support services, we can make huge strides against this epidemic.
One of the ways the HBA is supporting efforts to reduce and eventually end homelessness is by partnering with HomeAid of Austin. HomeAid was founded in 1989 by the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Association. Since then, HomeAid has expanded to 19 chapters across 13 states. HomeAid Austin was established in June of 2018 and has immediately begun making an impact.
HomeAid Austin’s mission is to build new lives for America’s homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach. Every one of its projects supports an agency that provides support services that include education, job skills training, counseling, etc. in addition to either emergency shelters, transitional or permanent housing. HomeAid acts as a liaison between the homeless care providers, the local HBA, the builders/volunteers/trades and community leaders and government officials. By leveraging in-kind donations of building materials, labor, and cash donations, HomeAid multiplies the effect of their resources far beyond each of those independently. The goal is to elevate the good work already being done.
HomeAid recently partnered with Taylor Morrison and the SAFE Alliance to build an emergency drop in center in Austin for survivors of exploitation and trafficking. They are also currently taking on one of the largest HomeAid projects in the history of the organization nationwide, by building a transition home with the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, which will break ground in January 2020. The organization is also partnering with Mobile Loaves & Fishes Community First! Village on their second phase of development, in which they have builder captains ready to begin construction on eight tiny homes.
The HomeAid Homecoming Luncheon is our annual fundraiser and celebration of our chapter’s accomplishments in construction, outreach and advocacy for local Homeless Care Providers. Guests will have the opportunity to support our mission through Heads or Tails, a lively game of elimination, as well as by donating during Paddles Up. The event will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 at the JW Marriott Downtown. You’re invited to join over 500 attendees already registered for this event. All ticket sales and proceeds will go towards building new lives for Austin’s homeless. To purchase tickets visit homeaidatx.givesmart.com.