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Caritas of Austin is a non-profit organization that currently serves 20,000 homeless, working poor and documented refugees in Travis County.

1960s

  • Caritas was founded in 1964 by Father Richard McCabe to help connect people experiencing poverty and homelessness with public assistance.
  • $30,000 budget supported by Catholic Diocese of Austin.
  • Only had part-time staff and church volunteers.
  • Referred clients to local churches for basic needs assistance.

1970s

  • Incorporated as private non-profit in 1977.
  • Rented office space from St. David's Episcopal church.
  • Budget grows to $134,000 by 1979.
  • Father McCabe's physician father began providing medical services which ultimately became the Volunteer Health Clinic, a separate non profit.
  • Caritas affiliates with United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as a documented refugee resettlement agency.

1980s

  • Budget grows from $170,000 to $710,000 during this decade. Began acquiring governmental grants in 1983.
  • Growth of staff from 10 to 20.
  • Board consists of 7-8 members from churches with Msgr. McCabe as Chair.
  • 100 breakfasts and 300 lunches distributed per day
  • Collaboration with Salvation Army and Austin Baptist Chapel for food services.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) and employment program funded by State of Texas.
  • 3,000-5,000 clients served annually.
  • Increased capacity to serve clients in-house rather than referring clients to external Continued community collaborations with increasing numbers of clients served in-house rather than referred out.

1990s

  • Caritas purchases and renovates property at 611 Neches.
  • 1993 – 1999 funding increased  from $1.6 M to $2.7M for refugee resettlement and basic needs assistance.
  • First capital campaign successfully raised $3.1 M Neches building is completed debt-free. Building maintenance fund is established.
  • Development and Finance departments added to Caritas corporate structure.
  • Msgr. McCabe retires as Board Chair in 1993 and becomes Chair Emeritus.
  • Community Advisory Board started.
  • Refugee Resettlement and Food Services move to 505 E. 7th Street; remain in this building until 1999.
  • Basic needs assistance is initiated and rapid growth ensues.
  • Increasingly engaged in collaborative projects within the Austin Community.
  • Secures first Permanent Supportive Housing grant from HUD. Provides leasing and supportive services for 20 units of housing.

2000-present

  • All programs and services are integrated into the 611 Neches facility.
  • Continues to serve the homeless, working poor and documented refugees.
  • Endowment Fund established at Austin Community Foundation.
  • Beth Atherton hired as Executive Director in September 2005; staff grows to 54.
  • Caritas plays a major role in service provision for Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Central Texas.
  • Started Do Good Deli in 2007 with a financial commitment from the Board of Directors; Do Good Deli closed due to economic challenges and need to focus resources on client services.
  • Caritas increases permanent supportive housing stock from 20 to 133 units.
  • Provides Integrated Services to help people remain self-sufficient. Programs within Integrated Services include Education, Employment, Food Services, and Refugee Resettlement.
  • Budget grows to $6.5 million, approximately 60% governmental dollars and 40% philanthropic.
  • 18 member Board of Directors providing governance and a Community Advisory Board of 75 Community Leaders providing fundraising support for the agency.
  • Caritas partners with Summit Housing Partners on the renovation of Marshall Apartments where residents will benefit from Caritas case management.
  • Jo Kathryn Quinn becomes Executive Director in August 2012.
  • 2014, Caritas' budget is $10.8 million and has a staff of more than 70.

Caritas of Austin is a non-profit organization that currently serves 20,000 homeless, working poor and documented refugees in Travis County.