Who is House the Homeless?
House the Homeless, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, all volunteer organization. Founded in the late 1980s, it is comprised of homeless, formerly homeless people and those who want to end homelessness as it exists today.
Throughout the year, we collaborate with Legal Aid and assist the disabled homeless to get disability benefits and a plethora of non-criminal legal assistance. We participate on countless committees and have created numerous new programs to help address homelessness. We created Project Fresh Start, the impetus for the national 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, which George W. Bush as governor helped us to fund.
Along with AISD, we created the program that is now known as Project Help which helps school children experiencing homelessness get the support and tools they need to be successful in perusing education.
In 1993, House the Homeless placed a memorial plaque and tree of remembrance at Auditorium Shores. Each November, we gather there to pay respect to the men and women who have died on the streets of Austin during the year. This year we mourned the loss of an additional 158 citizens. Throughout the year, we also participate in and carry out countless other charitable programs such as the Thermal Underwear Drive. With your help, we will serve hundreds of Austinites this year and again next year.
We are extremely grateful for your support!
What is the Universal Living Wage Campaign?
The Universal Living Wage Campaign is a committee of House the Homeless. It is designed to deal with the economic component of homelessness. The federal government says that 42% of the homeless are working at some point during the week. Clearly then, the work ethic is intact; however, the last several U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Reports have recognized that a full time minimum wage employee cannot get into and keep basic rental housing anywhere in the United States. In response to this condition, House the Homeless set out to fix the federal minimum wage. Using existing government guidelines, we devised a single national formula that ensures that anyone working a 40 hour week will be able to afford basic rental housing wherever that work is done throughout the U.S. To this end, we now have over 1,706 businesses, non-profits, unions, and religious groups that have gone online and endorsed our campaign. This now represents over 1 million registered voters supporting our initiative. Conservatively, we calculate that upon passage of the Universal Living Wage, we will enable over one million people to work themselves off the streets of America, and Austin in particular. Only such a plan will give Project Fresh Start and The Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness the ability to be successful. We must ensure that the millions of dollars and the untold years of human investment that we direct toward this problem at the city, county and federal level are not wasted. Passage of the ULW will ensure our success.
Together, we can make a difference.
Together we can end homelessness as it exists today.
In Unity There is Strength,
Richard R. Troxell
President, House the Homeless, Inc.