About House the Homeless

Founded in 1989, HtH is the oldest all volunteer, action, homeless organization in the state of Texas. The mission is Education and Advocacy around the issues of ending and preventing homelessness.

Its original website was launched in the early 1990s.  In addition to creating a Memorial in 1992, HtH conducts an annual citywide memorial services (now in its 21st year) where it has placed two commemorative plaques, a bench, and a Tree of Remembrance to the men, women and children who have lived and died on the streets of Austin.

HtH has been awarded repeatedly for the creation of numerous work and social service programs, monthly blog and newsletter that keep the focus on the economic issues of workers falling out of the work force and into homelessness.

House The Homeless considers all homeless and formerly homeless individuals to be members of this 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation. At no time does the makeup of our Board of Directors ever fall below 60% of homeless and formerly homeless people.

Richard head shot 003President Richard R. Troxell has been striving to end homelessness since he first saw it come into existence as a mortgage foreclosure preventionist in Philadelphia in the 1980s. Today, he is the Director of Legal Aid for the Homeless where he has daily interaction with the disabled homeless citizens of Austin, Texas. His work has been recognized by HUD, Texas Governor Ann Richards, the Pennsylvania Senate and the United Nations.  He has also received the Five Who Care Award and the JC Penny Golden Rule Award, among countless others. Having designed a paradigm change for homeless service delivery, he secured $100,000 from former Texas Governor George Bush for the jobs component.

Board of Directors:
Cecilia Blanford, JoAnne Kopeke, Kevyn Meagher, Blythe Plunkett


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Universal Living Wage

In 1997, a formula was created that fixes the Federal Minimum Wage. Using existing government guidelines, a three pronged formula was devised that ensures that a person who works 40 hours in a week (be it from one job or more), will be able to afford basic food, clothing, and shelter (utilities included) wherever that work is done throughout the United States.

In April 2001, the Universal Living Wage Campaign was launched and simultaneously went on line at www.UniversalLivingWage.org Note. ULW is a committee of House the Homeless, Inc. In total, 43,000 letters were sent to Unions, Faith Based Organizations, Non-Profits and Businesses. This created a data base of endorsing entities.

Also in 2001, we held our 1st National Day of Action. We gathered at US Post Offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  Supporting the actions, the campaign raises funds and distributes 4’by 10’ banners and red and white yard signs both directing people to the Universal Living Wage website and the campaign.

We later created a second National Day of Action: Bridge the Economic Gap Day. We get on the bridges of America with slightly different banners (which the campaign again supplies) with participants on at least one bridge in every state in the union. We again direct people to the Universal Living Wage Website and Campaign.

In October 2010, we released the book, Looking Up at the Bottom Line…The Struggle for the Living Wage.  Copies were sent to every member of Congress.

In 2013, HtH produced a White Paper: Preventing Homelessness at its Core; Living Wages, Livable Incomes and Discharge No one into Homelessness.

In 2014, HtH is updating and re-issuing the White Paper with a 10 year phase in plan for a National Living Wage.  The intention is to send it to all 1400 Mayors with a Resolution enabling them to petition the US Congress to fix the Federal Minimum Wage by indexing it to the local cost of housing (the single most expensive item in the budget of every American).