AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County Commissioners Court has approved $3 million for a new transitional shelter contract with The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF).
The money will go towards the Esperanza Community, a transitional shelter located in East Austin. The complex will be made up of 200 individual shelter units, shaded gathering areas, hygiene facilities and a community center. There will also be holistic supportive services, work opportunities, mail service, internet access, security and housing navigation to help people get back on their feet.
“It’s exciting to know residents will have access to a shelter complex with amenities, supportive services, and options for community gathering. Everyone deserves the dignity of a roof over their head," Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. “I’m thrilled the Commissioners Court is moving forward with the Other Ones Foundation contract.”
TOOF helps provide aid, low-barrier work opportunities and case management for those experiencing homelessness in Austin.
“Today’s contract approval for The Other One’s Foundation gets us one step closer to enough housing for our community members who are unsheltered. More importantly, this contract will provide the wrap-around services needed for these neighbors to achieve stability in permanent housing,” said Ann Howard, Travis County Commissioner for Precinct 3. “Slowly but surely, we are seeing the benefits of the supportive housing resolution sponsored by Commissioner Gomez and myself, and approved unanimously by the Commissioners Court. I look forward to approving the next contract as soon as it is ready.”
This $3 million investment is the second contract the commissioners court approved as part of $110 million in federal funding set aside in September 2021 for supportive housing initiatives.
Chris Baker, founder and executive director of TOOF, said the Esperanza Community is a "vital part of the continuum of care: A low barrier shelter with an individual occupancy model is crucial for the many people who have struggled to engage with more traditional shelter services: folks with pets, couples, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and more."
"The TOOF community is honored to work with all our supporters to create a place where Austin’s unhoused neighbors are offered reliable and equitable access to shelter, opportunity, and support," Baker said.