The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition in Austin pleaded with business leaders to help get together the $30 million they determined it would cost to end homelessness in the city during the Solutions to Homelessness meeting July 31.
The amount that the coalition arrived at is needed yearly until chronic homelessness has been significantly decreased. The money would be used to create a community-wide system to carry out the action plan.
Funding for this plan has been partially secured from the following business and non-profits: St. David's Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Moody Foundation, Cielo Property Group, Housing Authority of the City of Austin, Episcopal Health Foundation, Downtown Austin Alliance, Salvation Army, Central Health, Seton and Community Care Collaborative.
Amazon offered online assistance to help manage the data related to the aid program.
Ausitn City Council signed off on the plan created by the coalition back in April. The city witnessed a five percent increase in homelessness between January of 2017 and 2018. There have been around 2000 homeless people in Austin for the past decade. The city council is hoping this plan will bring this number down in the next year.
The coalition launched a pilot program last year to learn what needed to happen to solve homelessness. Resources and beds provided through long-term housing was at the top of the list. Followed by smaller things like port-a-potties outside the Austin's Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) in downtown.
One goal is to return a police presence outside the ARCH to combat the drugs and crime that come with people abusing the homeless population. Without the police force getting back involved the private business sector will unlikely see any change in this.
By knowing what needs to happen, the coalition is hoping that businesses will continue to get involved to help end the vicious homeless cycle in Austin.
Crystal has been coming to AFTS Open Studio for more than 5 years and tries to attend once a week “so that I feel like I’m doing something - life’s not just passing me by. I have something to look forward to.”
“Life can draw you away from your real talent, and AFTS helped me rediscover an old talent. [AFTS] gave me the opportunity to rekindle that talent.”
During these times of lock down, social distancing and increasingly less human connection, we are determined to bring our artists and others experiencing homelessness an opportunity for self-expression and creative relief to combat the increasing risk of depression and isolation.