The Other Ones Foundation was born out of a multi-agency work group trying to find innovative solutions to Austin’s Downtown Homeless crisis. Knowing that income is vital to finding housing stability, we wanted to offer folks the opportunity to earn an income during the day while the shelters weren’t operating. This led us to seek out employment opportunities for our homeless neighbors, and gave way to our Workforce First Program (WFF). WFF offers folks (who might otherwise be panhandling) the opportunity to get a days work. The dignity and empowerment of work, and the income it brings, serves a major stepping stone to getting our homeless friends on the path to a more fulfilling life. We have already enjoyed a great deal of success so far: WFF has paid out over $380,000 in earned income to individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, and 67 of our clients have moved into stable housing!
When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, we rolled out our second major program, the Mobile Hygiene Clinic (affectionately named the “Box of Rain”). What started as one shower trailer going around town delivering showers, toiletries, and lunches, has now grown to include several permanent locations as well. So far, we have provided 8,900 showers and over 10,000 lunches from our Mobile Hygiene Clinic locations!
Our most recent endeavor is to step up as stewards, in partnership with a resident-elected Leadership Committee, of Camp Esperanza. Camp Esperanza is a State-sanctioned homeless encampment in Austin, TX that is currently occupied by ~150 people.
TOOF is offering our services to the residents, including hygiene facility access, employment opportunity, and case management. We are also functioning as service coordinators for the camp by partnering with other service providers in the community. Finally, we are partnering with the residents of the camp and their self appointed leadership committee to build a solution focused community at Camp Esperanza. Learn more HERE!