6 Organizations Offering Support To Texas Communities
Issues like homelessness, hunger, and economic inequality affect people everywhere, and Texas is no exception. These organizations have taken it upon themselves to do what's necessary to alleviate the suffering of those in the community by investing in people and providing necessary services so everyone in the state has a fair shot. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
6 Generous Organizations in Texas
|San Antonio Food Bank||San Antonio||Works with more than 500 partner agencies to distribute food across Southwest Texas, assists with applications for government programs and benefits, and runs a culinary training program|
|Caritas of Austin||Austin||Fights homelessness by confronting disparities in housing, hunger, education, employment, and services for veterans|
|San Antonio Housing Authority||San Antonio||Provides affordable housing for low-income families through many development and construction projects|
|PeopleFund||Austin||Offers small business loans and educational programs at nine locations across the state|
|Avenue||Houston||Builds affordable residences for purchase and for rent, invests in neighborhoods, repairs homes, and provides counseling for families|
|East Texas Food Bank||Tyler||Serves 26 counties, supplying fresh produce and groceries to the community, as well as giving nutritious meals to local children|
East Texas Food Bank's Work Helping Seniors
Homelessness and Hunger in Texas
- 1 in 7 people in Texas struggles with hunger, including 1 in 4 children
- 14% of Texas households were considered food insecure through 2017, higher than the national average
- 55.4% of households in the state receiving SNAP benefits have children
- As of January 2018, Texas had an estimated 25,310 people experiencing homelessness on any given day
- Of that total, 1,935 were veterans, and 1,379 were unaccompanied young adults between the ages of 18 and 24
- Texas has the fifth-highest percentage of food-insecure children in the country, at 13%, or over 1.6 million
- Homelessness in Texas increased by 7% between 2017 and 2018, one of the largest increases in the nation
- It is estimated that it would take almost $2 billion a year to close the current meal gap for food-insecure Texas families
Caritas of Austin's Commitment to Ending Homelessness
Everyone deserves to have a safe place to live and access to proper nutrition. Unfortunately, people in our own communities are going without necessities every single day. These organizations are looking to change that by working directly with Texans to provide housing, meals, and financial assistance. In no particular order, here are six hardworking groups providing support to communities in the state.
Starting off the list at #1 is the San Antonio Food Bank. Active since 1980, it distributes more than 70 million meals each year, serving over 50,000 individuals from sixteen counties every week. The organization works with more than 500 non-profit partner agencies to distribute food across Southwest Texas. The facilities include a sustainable garden, urban orchard, and urban farm that grow a variety of crops.
In addition to providing food, the organization also assists clients with applications for government programs and benefits. There is a culinary training program, vouchers for use at farmers markets, and special programs for children. 98% of all donations go toward feeding families, ensuring all contributions go a long way, and individuals can also help out by donating food or their time as volunteers.
There is a culinary training program, vouchers for use at farmers markets, and special programs for children.
At #2 is Caritas of Austin, a name that means "love" or "charity" in Latin, an idea reflected in the group's mission to prevent and end homelessness in the Austin area. With an estimated 10,000 people accessing homeless services in Austin every year, the organization works to tackle not just the "visible homeless," but less obvious cases, such as young people aging out of the foster care system and those in constant danger of losing their housing.
The group's work is in five main areas: housing, food, education, employment, and veterans assistance. Each of these is an important pillar to building a community where everyone has a stable place to live, but housing is the first priority because it's an essential part of creating stability. One great way to get involved in this work is to hire workers through Caritas, which can help your business while giving someone an overdue opportunity.
The #3 selection is the San Antonio Housing Authority, which provides affordable housing in order to empower families to improve their quality of life and achieve economic stability. This group is one of 39 public housing authorities in the country with the Moving to Work designation, giving it the flexibility to design and test innovative approaches to its work as it seeks to increase the housing choices available to low-income families.
This group is one of 39 public housing authorities in the country with the Moving to Work designation, giving it the flexibility to design and test innovative approaches to its work as it seeks to increase the housing choices available to low-income families.
In addition to its public housing projects, the organization is also dedicated to creating mixed-income communities through both rental units and construction. Development projects such as San Juan Homes, The Park at Sutton Oaks, Blueridge Homes, and East Meadow Homes offer single-family residences for qualifying first-time homeowners. If you have a passion for this kind of work, consider applying for one of the positions currently available with the Housing Authority.
#4 is PeopleFund, which provides small business loans, assistance, and education to people traditionally excluded from such resources. Founded in 1994, it has helped create thousands of jobs through its nine locations while putting Texans on a path to financial independence. The group's loan programs provide small businesses and non-profit organizations with access to capital without large down payments, with a specific focus on women, minorities, veterans, and businesses in low-income areas.
PeopleFund has lent over $75 million in its history, but the organization does a lot more than just offer funds. Educational programs like PeopleConnect, PeopleSpark, and PeopleVET support entrepreneurs, giving them opportunities to learn and network as they build their businesses. It's possible to invest in PeopleFund, providing funding to small businesses and creating jobs while earning a dependable financial return in the process.
Educational programs like PeopleConnect, PeopleSpark, and PeopleVET support entrepreneurs, giving them opportunities to learn and network as they build their businesses.
Coming in at #5 is Avenue. Based in Houston, Avenue builds affordable homes for purchase and for rent, as well as providing education and counseling to help families build long-term assets. The group also makes investments in neighborhoods in order to improve quality of life and create inclusive and supportive communities. This includes programs like recovery projects for homes damaged by natural disasters, as well as expanding access to child care and creating safer neighborhoods.
Those who are eligible can apply to have major repairs to their homes done through the Avenue Builds Community campaign, and it's possible to view current available residences on the group's website. The organization also runs Art on the Avenue, the largest silent art auction in the city, which raises funds for the group's work thanks to the more than 250 artists who contribute to the event.
Rounding out the list at #6 is the East Texas Food Bank, which serves over 250,000 people across 26 East Texas counties. A member of Feeding America, this nonprofit works with local farmers to provide fresh produce along with canned goods, dairy products, frozen items, and more. In an area where 76% of people said they've had to choose between paying for food or for medical care, this work is vital to the community.
In an area where 76% of people said they've had to choose between paying for food or for medical care, this work is vital to the community.
Among the offerings for families are a backpack program, where more than 5,000 children are given backpacks of nutritious food to take home over the weekend, and the Kids Cafe and Afterschool Snack Program, which provides free meals and snacks at locations like schools, churches, and Boys and Girls Clubs. If you want to help this organization continue its important work, you can donate money, participate in a food drive, or volunteer your time.