While we are all settling nicely into 2018, we want to take just one more look back at what you made possible last year in our work to prevent and end homelessness in Greater Austin. You stood with us as we took a bolder step forward in committing to ending homelessness as we know it. We will no longer being satisfied with managing it, and we know the solutions that work.
You helped 590 families find a stable place to call home in 2017. That means your support ended homelessness for 590 families. Whether they were refugees experiencing international homelessness, individuals who have suffered living on the streets of Austin for years, or veteran families who experienced a housing crisis, 590 households are now working to rebuild wellbeing with the strong foundation of a home.
You also ensured people were fed and had food to put on the table last year. Volunteers served 67,729 incredible lunches in our Community Kitchen. Thank you to the amazing individual and group volunteers who provided an invaluable daily meal and smiling face to our diners. Our Pantry also distributed 27,735 meals in groceries to help people put food on the table as they work to regain stability – food that mostly came from community donations!
Despite a very volatile year, we proudly welcomed 459 refugees as our newest Austinites in 2017. With your support, we made sure they had a safe home, learned about U.S. culture, got children enrolled in school, accessed much needed healthcare, and gained employment. Refugees strengthen our city’s economy, culture, and sense of community in countless ways, and we remain committed to this work in 2018.
Making sure people have a home and food then allows us to partner with clients in building additional layers of wellbeing. Last year, we provided 2,033 classes on cultural orientation, workforce development, and life skills to give people the tools they need to succeed. We placed 581 people in jobs across numerous industries, and with generous supporters, we continue to increase support for clients as they pursue vocational training and higher education opportunities.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you helped make possible last year. Without you, we cannot move forward in our bold mission to end homelessness. But with you, everything is possible. Let’s end homelessness together, Austin!