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Austin Rapid Rehousing Program hopes to help hundreds experiencing homelessness

Two nonprofits plan to work together with the City of Austin to help some of the city's most vulnerable access housing.

AUSTIN, Texas — A national nonprofit that provides services to people experiencing homelessness has opened an office in Austin. 

Endeavors, a nonprofit based in San Antonio, is partnering with the City of Austin and ECHO (Ending Community Homeless Coalition) to help continue working on the Austin Rapid Rehousing Program, which is paid for through various grants.  

The two nonprofits plan to work with the City to help some of Austin's most vulnerable access housing. There are currently as many as 4,000 people experiencing homelessness in Austin.

"It's everywhere you go, you will see tents out, people sleeping outside. It is an issue. It's a current issue that I think needs to be dealt with and helped with," said Jasmine Barlett, a case manager with Endeavors. "Our goal is to house at least 250 clients and keep them stabilized and self-sufficient ... [and] we are going to pay for rent, the utilities."

Barlett said in addition to housing, the organizations will also provide mental health services, job assistance and other resources. The goal is to help those experiencing homelessness receive the resources they need to live on their own.

"Teach them how to be self-sufficient and more independent. We are going attack every single barrier," Barlett said. 

Endeavors has already shown the success of the programs it provides. In San Antonio, the nonprofit has helped people experiencing homelessness receive the resources they needed.

One person that the nonprofit helped in San Antonio is Andre Dixon. Dixon is a veteran who fell on tough times and was experiencing homelessness. Through Endeavors' help, he was able to get back on his feet again. 

"They show you they are going to help you. You know, there is a difference between telling somebody they are going to help them and actually helping them," Dixon said.

Dixon added that the organization helped him get a place to live and find a job. 

The program in Austin will provide housing to those experiencing homelessness for a year. Endeavors said its staff hopes to get additional grants to keep the program going.

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