Ending Community Homelessness Coalition

State of the Coalition

by Ann Howard

ECHO's Community Plan to End Homelessness requires a local commitment to investment in affordable housing and effective collaboration. ECHO is participating enthusiastically as a member of the Steering Committee of Keep Austin Affordable, a new group working to expand the availability of affordable housing in Austin by supporting a city bond election for housing in November 2013. There are several upcoming opportunities for you to get involved!
Keep Austin Affordable Rally!
Join us for a Kickoff Rally for Affordable Housing on Wednesday, April 10th at 10 am at the Sierra Vista Learning Center - 4320 South Congress Ave. Austin community leaders will be calling for investment in affordable housing and for volunteers to engage the community on the need for affordable housing. You can follow the campaign on Twitter @keepATXafford and find more information at 
Public Hearings and Community Needs Assessment
The City’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) will host a public hearing as the City prepares the Community Needs Assessment of the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Action Plan. This is an opportunity for community members to provide feedback on what the greatest needs are within the community - while the City Council listens. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday April 11, 2013 - 4:00 pm at Austin City Hall - 301 W. 2nd St. For more information please visit the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Action Plan website.

Coordinated Assessment
Last month, ECHO launched work on improving our community "system" for helping clients with housing issues. With the help of Kristy Greenwalt from Corporation of Supportive Housing we identified strengths and challenges and began to explore "what ifs" including "what if we infused the community with a standardized assessment tool and screening mechanism, staffed by problem solvers who were charged with identifying the appropriate housing intervention needed by that client." And then, "What if we had a team of housing navigators who became experts about how exactly to move clients into appropriate apartments and they negotiated the lease until the deal was done...all before the case manager got involved?" Would this free up case managers to focus on client services? These ideas are worth exploring and I look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming months.

ECHO Board Member Tim League to be honored with Community Spirit Award by Front Steps

Karrie & Tim League will be awarded the Community Spirit Award at this year's Front Steps' Annual Breakfast on Friday, April 12th at 7:30 am at St. David's Episcopal Church. Tim has been on the ECHO Board of Directors since 2010, and as CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, he facilitated a matching offer during Amplify Austin for Mobile Loaves and Fishes' Community First project and raised over $50,000! Click here to reserve a ticket for the event.  ECHO appreciates the many ways Tim and Karrie demonstrate their commitment to ending homelessness.

ECHO is looking for individuals who are interested in serving on the various ECHO Work Groups. The groups meet monthly and are open to all so please feel free to attend!

At the next Housing Work Group (April 17th at 9 am at NHCD) participants will use the second hour to discuss Permanent Supportive Housing strategies and how we might prioritize within the pipeline.

On May 1st, the Outreach & Education Work Group will discuss messaging on the ECHO mission to end homelessness. We request that each agency send a representative from your communications or development team (3:30 to 5 pm at ECHO).

On Tuesday, April 9th the National Alliance to End Homelessness announced the release of The State of Homelessness in America 2013, a comprehensive report of the economic, demographic, and housing factors relating to homelessness in the United States.  

This year’s report will serve as a national resource for homeless assistance providers, lawmakers, and the media. Along with national and state counts of homelessness, the report examines rates of severe housing cost burden, unemployment, poverty and rental vacancy, as well as a variety of demographic factors of homeless populations, including doubling up and safety net benefits.

Saturday, April 13th
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
126 W. Oltorf St.

Reach Out has announced its Fourth Annual Homeless Resource Fair. Clients can visit St. Ignatius Church to have a hot meal and hot shower, get a backpack, browse through clothes, get a haircut and/or shave, receive medical treatment, and get an optional food bath. Please help us spread the word about this event.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes will be providing lunch the day of the event.

If you have questions, please contact Zachary Gil-Mata at or (512) 296-8766.

Click here for volunteer registration.
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