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'I'm full because of what the house stands for' | Central Texas nonprofit invites family into their first home

The family of nine got to tour their new home from top to bottom, checking out each room and bathroom that they will now call "home."

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — A local nonprofit that helps house people experiencing homelessness in Austin has been through a big change in the past year. 

Front Steps used to run the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless Shelter in Downtown Austin. Now the nonprofit is focusing its efforts on a new form of community outreach.

The new focus for the nonprofit is building single-family homes to help get people off the streets. On Thursday, the nonprofit showed off its first transitional home that will house families in need.

A fresh start is what Front Steps is giving families like Irma Sol Herrera's.

"Pues emocionada y dándole gracias a Dios, porque Dios tarda pero no olvida, verdad? Después de la tormenta viene la paz. Estoy muy agradecida y me siento muy feliz," Herrera said.


"So excited and thanking God because God takes time but doesn't forget, right? After the storm comes peace. I am very grateful and I feel very happy."

Herrera, her sister and their kids got to tour their new home from top to bottom, checking out each room and bathroom that they will now call "home."

Front Steps Executive Director Sheila Joseph said it's a sight she's been waiting for.

"I can see them finding their little spots in the house. I saw the little boy on the bench in the main bedroom," Joseph said.

For the family that's moving into the home, the fresh start comes with a sense of security, allowing them to build new memories in this home for months to come.

"Me siento súper bien y muy contenta y muy agradecida con ellas," Herrera said.


"I feel super good and very happy and very grateful to them."

Joseph explained that through her team of case managers, the nonprofit hopes to provide much more than just a place to sleep.

"They also will still be helped by the other agencies with getting their paperwork together and making sure that they are up to speed with everything that they need. And the children are in school," Joseph said.

For Herrera and her family, she said a blessing like this hasn't come easy.

"Hay mucha gente que se aprovecha de uno aparte que uno no sabe el inglés y le cuesta un poco. Hay gente que sí lo estafa uno, como nos pasó a nosotros," Herrera said.


"There are a lot of people who take advantage of us, apart from the fact that we don't know English and it's a little difficult for us. There are people who scam you, as it happened to us."

Front Steps is working hard to expand its services nationwide. The nonprofit's website details the three main programs it offers, including veteran services, "first steps" and housing support.

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