What it is

The Workforce First Program is a collaboration between The Other Ones foundation, Austin Public Health, and Austin Parks and Recreation Department. The program provides our homeless neighbors with gainful employment, motivating a connection or reconnection with the workforce as an alternative to panhandling for survival. Financial resources can provide a paramount step to getting people on their way to permanent housing. We believe that opportunity is the only viable alternative to unsafe or illegal means of procuring income. The program not only offers participants the dignity of work, but also support services aimed at breaking down the barriers to employment, and ultimately, housing. These services include assistance in procuring vital records, like state ID, birth certificates, and social security cards, as well as access to banking services and financial literacy education. Being committed to collaboration in our community, the program also provides assistance in navigating existing resources that could help our homeless neighbors’ journeys to a more fulfilling life.

     How it works

The program identifies eligible workers through a combination of partnering organizations, and our own street outreach. The only requirement to join the workforce first program is that an individual is experiencing or has experienced homelessness and that they may otherwise be panhandling.  The Other Ones provides transportation, lunch, and pay at the end of every work day. The hiring process is streamlined by removing any traditional barriers to getting started on a job. By removing these barriers, and opening up access to work, we hope to take one step in regaining trust and building community with people who may have become untrusting or frightened of society and its systems.

     Get Involved

If you think that the Workforce First program is a great fit for you or a loved one, you can use the contact form on this website to get in touch or call (512) 568-7557 to talk to someone about getting involved. If you have a business or are part of an organization that needs extra hands completing a project or for your ongoing labor needs, please get in touch, we’d love to talk.


The best way to help us in providing work to our homeless neighbors and beautify our community is to make a donation today!


What it is

The Other Ones Foundation Mobile Micro Shelter Program seeks to serve people experiencing homelessness with safe and compassionate refuge, focused on building community and accessing permanent housing. The program will be a unique set of fully mobile, open access shelters, which will serve to build comfortable and trusting relationships with those we serve. When implemented, the program will create up to 18 emergency shelter beds per unit. These beds will be taken from the downtown core to outlying areas, creating a safe environment away from the chaos of the downtown scene.