FTEH Logo   

Volume 2, Issue 2

Editor: Jennifer Wagner

May 2013

In This Issue
Leadership Group
FTEH - National Update
One Voice Texas Homeless Youth Forum
2013 National Conference Activites
The Beacon
Update on Houston's Work on Homelessness
Continuum of Care Steering Committee
Earl Hatcher Commons
Community Policing

Leadership Group:


The Andrews Foundation


Bank of America


Baxter Trust


Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation


City of Houston Housing & Community Development Deptartment


Enrico & Sandra Di Portanova Charitable Foundation 


Ray C. Fish Foundation


The Frees Foundation


Greater Houston Community Foundation


Harris County Community Services Department


Healthcare & Nursing Education Foundation


Heartspring Methodist Foundation


Houston Endowment Inc.


Houston Housing Authority


The Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation


Robert & Janice McNair Foundation


One Voice Texas


The Powell Foundation 


Rockwell Fund


The Simmons Foundation


St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities


St. Luke's United Methodist Church


St. Martin's Episcopal Church


United Way of Greater Houston



Quick Links

Houston Affiliate Newsletter

Dear Funders Together to End Homelessness Members, 

Welcome to the third edition of the FTEH-Houston newsletter.   Our goal is to inform our members on the community's effort to reduce homeless, share best practices from around the country, and highlight FTEH-Houston's activities and accomplishments.  We want everyone to feel united as we are all striving for the same goal - Preventing and Ending Homelessness! 



The purpose of the Funders Together to End Homelessness-Houston is to build a local network of funders who are committed to reducing  homelessness through leadership, education, and advocacy; strategic collaboration and grantmaking; and effective promotion and replication of best-practice models.

Funders Together to End Homelessness

National Update 


Youth Homelessness Learning Community 

Funders Together National will be rolling out a Youth Homelessness Learning Community program this summer. Webinars will begin with general information and will highlight national best practices.   A second opportunity for sharing information and connecting funders nationwide will be a "Community of Practice" which will include in-depth educational experiences and travel to best practice cities to learn firsthand about solutions and strategies that work.


Dedicating Opportunities Initiative: 10 U.S. Cities

This place-based initiative was launched earlier this year by HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan. Ten U.S. cities were selected to participate in the initiative based on systems work already underway and momentum toward ending homelessness. The initiative is focused on chronic homelessness and veteran homelessness and will prioritize strengthening coordination within the community, targeting existing resources for strategic allocations and using data to drive strategies.


The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, HUD, and Funders Together National are partners in the Dedicating Opportunities Initiative. These partners will support strategic conversations and provide structure with new data driven models and assessment tools.


Funders Together-National's Monthly Bulletin

This is a great source of information and way for us to connect with other funders and communities across the nation.   Is everyone receiving a monthly bulletin? If not, and you want to be added to the distribution list, please let Stephanie Foy know.


Nancy Frees Fountain

The Frees Foundation

One Voice Texas

Homeless Youth Forum


On January 25, 2013, One Voice Texas welcomed 75 individuals, including members of FTEH-Houston, to its Homeless Youth Forum. The forum, which was generously underwritten by The Enrico and Sandra di Portanova Charitable Foundation and The Frees Foundation, brought national, state, and local experts together to focus on issues related to one of our community's most vulnerable groups, homeless youth. Of particular focus were homeless minors who are without a parent/guardian and the lack of services currently available to them.


Houston Mayor Annise Parker welcomed attendees by sharing how the issue of youth homelessness has personally touched her family, and she called on our community to come together and find solutions that effectively address the needs of this population.


Eric Tars with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty presented the morning keynote, which was entitled Alone Without a Home: A State by State Review of Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth, Texas Edition. Steve Bewsey, Director of Housing and Homelessness Services for Youth at LifeWorks in Austin provided information on the continuum of services his organization offers as well as how the organization came to be. Additional local and statewide experts in the areas of housing development, law enforcement, residential child care licensure, child welfare, and LGBT youth also provided their insight throughout the day.


By far, the most powerful part of the forum was the final panel, which was entitled Nothing About Us Without Us. Eight individuals, ranging in age from eighteen to over fifty, who experienced homelessness as minors without a parent/guardian bravely and generously shared their personal stories of how they became homeless, the challenges they faced then, how those experiences have affected their lives, and what they believe needs to be done to better serve homeless youth in our community.


Building on the knowledge gained from this forum as well as the political and community will that continues to grow around better addressing issues related to youth homelessness, One Voice Texas, in collaboration with community partners such as FTEH-Houston, will continue to work toward developing both short and long-term plans that will lead our community toward strategic, effective, and concrete solutions that meet the needs of our homeless youth.


  Lillian Ortiz

One Voice Texas

Activities at the National Alliance to End Homelessness' 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness


Funders Together to End Homelessness's 2013 Funders Institute:

"Harnessing Potential, Powering Systems Change"


Funders Pre-Conference Meeting | 7:45- 12:00 | Monday, July 22

Focus on the role of funders to power systems change through granting, convening and advocacy


Funders Track | Monday, July 22-Wednesday, July 24

Conference workshops most useful to funders


Session for Funders from the Ten "Dedicating Opportunities" Cities |4:30-6:00 | Tuesday, July 23

Opportunity to engage in focused work with funders from each of the ten participating cities. Goal is to create a national community of funders.


Reception and Keynote|6:00-7:30 | Tuesday, July 23

Will include staff from NAEH, U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness and Federal Agencies


Reframing for the Future: National Alliance to End Homelessness 2013 National Conference in Washington, D.C. July 22-24, 2013

To register please visit conference website: help.endhomelessness.org/events/27or contact D'Arcy Klingle at 202-942-8287 or [email protected]


Please let Stephanie Foy know if you will be attending the NAEH Conference so she can alert you to all Funders Together activities in addition to those above.   [email protected] 713-668-4515

The Beacon


On any given night, thousands of men, women and children are homeless on the streets in Houston and THE BEACON is providing a solution. THE BEACON is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization attending to the immediate needs of the homeless and underserved in Houston and Harris county since 2007. Our success is driven through our four core programs:  The Beacon Day Center, Cathedral Clinic, Brigid's Hope and the Cathedral Justice Project. These four programs join together under one roof to provide meals, showers, laundry services, case management, medical and psychiatric care, pro bono legal services and pastoral care to over 600 clients daily.

The Beacon Day Center provides hot meals, private shower and lavatory facilities, laundry services and case management to Houston's underserved and homeless population.  We serve over 600 clients daily.  2012 Outcomes: 118,865 client visits, 101,483 hot meals, 15,586 hot showers, 20,395 loads of laundry washed/ folded


Case Management and Pastoral Care and Counseling serves as the bridge between clients and the resources necessary to begin the journey towards self-sufficiency. Full-time case managers and volunteers assist clients with transportation issues, counseling and crisis intervention, housing assistance, employment assistance and referrals to other supportive services. Our chaplain to THE BEACON provides individual counseling, spiritual guidance and bible study.  2012 Outcomes: 80 clients received daily case management, 1,527 clients received housing assistance, 174 clients received employment assistance, 6,220 prayer request, 25 pastoral care consultations, 310 weekly bible study attendees


Brigid's Hope at The Beacon offers transitional housing and supportive services in an effort to reduce the number of women returning to the criminal-justice system. Through housing, volunteer mentoring, case management, life skill training and supportive services our clients receive the tools they need to become self-sufficient and secure a safe/productive future.  The twelve-month intensive program for homeless, non-violent female offenders is unique by offering each client a mentor, independent living and minimal structure to develop self-sufficiency. 2012 Outcomes: 22 women served, 100% employed upon graduation, 16 mentors provided 1,988 volunteer hours, 91.8% recidivism rate since 1999.


Cathedral Justice Project at The Beacon provides pro bono legal assistance. We advocate for the homeless community before government agencies and courts of law, helping to resolve legal issues, and connecting homeless individuals with the resources that exist to help the poor. Often, these unresolved legal issues stand in the way of accessing government benefits or obtaining employment. Volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students all donate their time to help the staff provide a voice for Houston's homeless. 650 cases resolved in 2012. 


Cathedral Clinic at The Beacon is a collaborative partnership with Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston. Our clinic combines primary healthcare, psychiatric treatment and mental health counseling with intensive case management to address the needs of men, women, and children living on Houston's streets. 850 clients were assisted in 2012.

Volunteers  Much of our success is achieved through an active volunteer base of over 2,000 individuals who provide approximately 85% of all services at THE BEACON. Our volunteers log thousands of hours - bread baking, meal prep & service, client reception, laundry services, case management, mentoring, database support, legal services.  2,093 active volunteers providing 33,370 hours of service in 2012. 


Our Collaborative Partners Angela House * Bering Omega * Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. * Cenikor * Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County * Community Partnership Council * COMPASS * Dress for Success Houston * Harris County Drug Court * The Food Bank * Harris County Hospital District (HCHD) * Healthcare of the Homeless - Houston* Houston/Harris County Texas Department of Criminal Justice Systems * Houston Veteran's Administration * Houston VA Domiciliary * Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program * Kairos Prison Ministry International Inc. * Lone Star Legal Aid * Mental Health Mental Retardation Association (MHMRA) * Montrose Counseling Center * New Hope Housing, Inc.* New Opportunities for Alleviating Homeless (NOAH) * Operation ID * Project Life Roads * SEARCH * The AIDS Foundation of Houston * Workforce Solutions

Be part of the solution - Volunteer / Donate - www.BEACONhomeless.org 


 Meet Michael Crawl: He's a BEACON client and a poet. He participated in The Beacon Writers' Workshop this spring, and here he is, reading some of his work!

 Dena Williams

The Beacon

Mayor Parker and 120 Volunteers Canvass Downtown Houston in an Effort to get 2,500 Homeless Individuals Off the Streets


Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - Houston Mayor Annise Parker personally led a team of volunteers canvassing the streets of downtown Houston to interview the City's most vulnerable homeless individuals as part of Houston Registry Week.  Over 120 volunteers are participating in this weeklong campaign in an effort to jumpstart the City's plan to get 2,500 homeless persons off the streets by 2016.


 "In Houston, we don't just dream, but we achieve, and Registry Week is the first step towards achieving the goal of virtually eliminating chronic homelessness in Houston," said Mayor Parker.  "I am proud that as a community we have come together to align our resources and develop a comprehensive, compassionate plan that puts a face and name to the problem of homelessness and saves the taxpayers' money."


 National studies show that chronic homeless individuals account for only 25% of a major city's homeless population, but consume 75% of the homeless resources.  In Houston, there are approximately 2,500 chronic and near-chronic homeless individuals, costing an estimated $103 million in public resources per year.


 Houston Registry Week is the first of a three-prong, comprehensive, community-driven plan to reduce chronic homelessness in Houston that includes: (1) identifying and prioritizing the most vulnerable homeless individuals, (2) placing them into permanent housing, and (3) providing needed services and treatments. 


 Houston Registry Week is part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign - a grassroots movement of over 175 communities to find and place chronically homeless individuals into 100,000 homes across the nation.  As part of the campaign, volunteers are using a 33-item questionnaire to gather targeted information on the individual's health status, institutional history (jail, prison, hospital, and military), length of homelessness, patterns of shelter or mission use, and previous housing situations. 


"Registry Week is an exciting opportunity to create a comprehensive database of people living on our streets and in our shelters, enabling us, as a community, to know the homeless by name, to understand their stories, and to identify their needs," explained Neal Rackleff, Director of the City's Housing and Community Development Department.  "The information gathered is crucial to our ability to place our most vulnerable into permanent housing with supportive services to break the cycle of homelessness."


 Under Mayor Parker's leadership, Houston Registry Week is an initiative of the City of Houston in partnership with the Harris County Housing Authority, SEARCH Homeless Services, The Beacon, Coalition for the Homeless, Houston Housing Authority, Continuum of Care and other integral community partners.


 "The Houston Housing Authority is committed to fighting homelessness in Houston and we are glad to work with great community partners that share our vision," said Tory Gunsolley, Houston Housing Authority's President & CEO. "By working with community partners we were able to get 101 homeless veterans housed in 100 days, and with this campaign we will be able to do even more to help Houston's homeless receive the housing and supportive services that they need."


 Mayor Parker is scheduled to present the findings from Houston Registry Week immediately following the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on May 15, 2013. 

Jessica Preheim

Houston Housing Authority

Update on Houston's Work on Homelessness


Mandy Chapman Semple, Special Assistant to Houston's Mayor Parker on Homeless Initiatives, presented an update on Houston's work on homelessness to City Council.  To watch the presentation:


Go to: http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/04242013-539

Click on "Mayor's Report-Homelessness" on the right-hand side

 Lillian Ortiz

One Voice Texas

Continuum of Care Steering Committee


 It is my pleasure to represent Funders Together to End Homelessness-Houston on the Continuum of Care Steering Committee (the Committee). The task of the Committee is to oversee the development and implementation of an effective plan to address homelessness in the City of Houston, Harris and Fort Bend Counties. In addition, the Committee has responsibility for the annual funding application submitted to HUD. The HUD funds have provided millions of dollars to agencies providing housing and support services to the most vulnerable homeless individuals.


March 2013 Update:


2012 CoC Grants Announced - This was the Committee's first application process and it was a learning experience. The turnaround time for the 2012 application was shorter than usual and special meetings and phone conferences were required during the holidays to meet the deadlines. The first round of HUD grants were announced on March 13, 2013. Because there was a substantial decrease in our HUD funding, a large number of programs were not funded. HUD focused on funding renewals and no new projects, planning grant or any Tier 2 submissions were addressed.


2013 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) - The 2013 HUD NOFA is planned to be released in June 2013 and the Committee is anticipating another funding decrease. In preparation for the June NOFA, the Committee will be reviewing eligibility criteria, threshold requirements and setting funding priorities at its May meeting.


New Committee Member Approved:

Dr. Laura Marsh, Executive Director, Mental Health Care Line, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center was approved as the Public Agency Representative - VA, to the Steering Committee.


Two seats remain open and I would be happy to discuss any suggestions you may have on filling them.


Celene Meyer

Continuum of Care Steering Committee 

Earl Hatcher Commons

Permanent Supportive Housing


 On February 26, 2013, Harris County Community Services Department presented an overview of the Earl Hatcher Commons[1] project (formerly known as Magnolia Glen) to the Funders Together to End Homelessness Houston (FTEH) Public/Private Workgroup. The project includes 189 units of permanent supportive housing consisting of 173 efficiency units and 16 1-bedroom units. The target population for the project is homeless persons who are frequent users of jails and/or hospitals who have a chronic disabling condition. The service approach entails the Housing First model where sobriety is not required for residency but each resident will abide by a standard lease agreement. The primary project partners are the Non-Profit Housing Corporation of Greater Houston that will own and operate the property, and SEARCH Homeless Services that will serve as the lead service provider for the residents.


In addition to providing a detailed project overview, the February presentation included a detailed summary of the project funding and funding gaps. The FTEH request focused on one-time and start-up costs for project components that are necessary but currently do not have public funding streams available, or allowable for such activities, or need ramp up time to access funding for long-term support. Such costs include partial funding for a supported employment specialist that will be needed until services reach capacity where mainstream funding can fully support this activity; one-time capital costs associated with obtaining furnishings, and on-site transportation (van); and costs for program evaluation. In total, the project lacked $415,000 to fully support the required services; 25% of the total project start-up budget.


Since the February presentation, FTEH funders have expressed much interest and committed support to fill the project funding gap. United Way of Greater Houston has committed funding to support one year for the employment specialist and direct tenant assistance. The Frees Foundation has committed to funding ten units of furnishings. Additionally, Houston Endowment, Episcopal Health Charities, and the di Portanova Charitable Foundation have expressed strong interest in funding. Harris County extends great appreciation to these funders for their support and interest.


Other exciting actions include the start of the Home Sweet Home Furnishings Campaign launched on April 9th with a Lunch and Learn meeting with Faith Based Leaders. The purpose of this campaign is to create a fund to support furnishing units for each resident at the project. Harris County has also started an Employment Services Collaborative seeking to match formerly homeless and low-income persons with employment opportunities specifically targeted to federally funded construction projects.


Also in April, the architectural and engineering services selection process was completed and Smith & Company Architects was selected to provide the architectural and engineering services including completion of the project design. Project design is scheduled to complete mid-summer with construction anticipated to start in August 2013.

[1] The project name was changed to Earl Hatcher Commons in memoriam for Earl Hatcher, Executive Director for the Non-Profit Housing Corporation, who was a dedicated advocate for the homeless.


Daphne Lemelle

Harris County Community Services Department 

Houston Housing Authority

 Mayor Parker Get in the Holiday Spirit with $100M to Help End Homelessness in Houston 


Houston Housing Authority and Mayor Annise Parker announce details of plan to add 1,000 units of permanent housing for homeless Houstonians within the next two years through $100 million in Project-Based Vouchers, funded by HUD. This pledge includes plans to construct new apartments that will provide supportive services, as well as the intent to provide up to 200 vouchers to be used at new properties and/or up to 200 vouchers for existing properties that comply with program requirements and federal Housing Quality Standards.


"At a time when we give thanks, we must remember that there are still Houstonians without the most basic of needs - a roof over their heads. This commitment by the Houston Housing Authority will help homeless and low-income Houstonians get on their feet and become a part of Houston's economic engine," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "The City of Houston is proud to partner with HHA during this time of giving in the effort to end homelessness in Houston."


HHA President & CEO Tory Gunsolley said, "With the help of our community partners, we recently celebrated a huge milestone by housing 100 homeless veterans in 100 days. Another 100 veterans have been housed since that announcement. Cumulatively, we have placed more than 500 homeless veterans. We have also hired a full-time manager to oversee our homeless housing initiative. We are doing what we can to meet the need for affordable housing in Houston."


The goal of the new initiative is to create permanent supportive housing for homeless and vulnerable Houstonians. The targeted population includes income eligible (less than 30 percent of the area median income) homeless veterans and homeless individuals or families and individuals with disabilities. There are currently 20,000 participants on the Housing Choice Voucher Program wait list. This new commitment will have the added benefit of creating approximately 1,000 jobs per year for the next three years.


Jessica Preheim

Houston Housing Authority

So What?


St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities has a great article on why homelessness matters. 


Please follow the link to read this great article:


Five Ways to End Youth Homelessness


Please follow the link below to see the article about lessons learned at the Seattle National Alliance Conference on Ending Youth Homelessness.



Community Policing


Please follow the link below to see the article about "Policing Those in Mental Health Crisis is no easy task for law enforcement".  Find out how the Houston Police are working with the homeless through the Homeless Outreach Team.



2013 Calendar 


National Events


National Alliance to End Homelessness

 2013 Conference on Ending Homelessness

July 22-24

Washington D.C.


Local Events



Funders Together Meeting Schedule


June 6 - Thursday

Funders Together - Site Visit and Lunch Conversation

Place: New Hope Housing - Perry Street SRO Community

4415 Perry Street

Time:  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


 August 1- Thursday

Funders Together - General Meeting

Educational Forum - Youth Homelessness

Place: Greater Houston Community Foundation

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


October 31 - Thursday

Funders Together - General Meeting

Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Project

Place: Earl Hatcher Commons (formerly Magnolia Glen)

3815 Gulf Freeway

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.



Please take a moment and check out the FTEH website:
Promote Effective Solutions to Homelessness.
Join Funders Together Today!
Through Funders Together, you can connect with other funders like you, share lessons learned and promising practices, and help build the movement to end homelessness in Houston.  Your voice can help make the difference in our community and across the country.
Contact Houston Project Manager, Stephanie Foy at [email protected] with any questions about membership.


Feel free to forward on to anyone with interest!