FTEH Logo   

Volume 2, Issue 3

Editor: Jennifer Wagner

August 2013

In This Issue
Leadership Group
Perry Street Apartments
The Downtown Body Shop
Magnolia Glen
Magnolia Glen
NAEH National Conference Highlights
NAEH National Conference Highlights
Earl Hatcher Commons Project Fund
Community Impact Fund
Sequestration Impact on the Houston Housing Authority

Leadership Group:


The Andrews Foundation


Bank of America


Baxter Trust


Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation


City of Houston Housing & Community Development Department


Enrico & Sandra Di Portanova Charitable Foundation 


Episcopal Health Charities


The Frees Foundation


Greater Houston Community Foundation


Harris County Community Services Department


Harris County Housing Authority


Healthcare & Nursing Education Foundation


Heartspring Methodist Foundation


Houston Endowment Inc.


Houston Housing Authority


The Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation


Robert & Janice McNair Foundation


The Powell Foundation 


Rockwell Fund


The Simmons Foundation


St. Luke's United Methodist Church


St. Martin's Episcopal Church


United Way of Greater Houston




One Voice Texas


Corporation For Supportive Housing


Quick Links

Houston Affiliate Newsletter

Dear Funders Together to End Homelessness Members, 

Welcome to the fourth 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.

Perry Street Apartments 


In early June, Funders Together visited New Hope Housing's newest single room occupancy (SRO) apartment community - 4415 Perry, located off Old Spanish Trail and Cullen Blvd. The Perry property fulfills New Hope's mission of offering life-stabilizing, affordable, permanent housing + support services for people who live on limited incomes.


 New Hope works closely with collaborative partners and leverages resources to bring the best and most cost-efficient services possible to their residents. At the Perry property, New Hope formed three robust collaborations. They serve with Star of Hope chronically homeless women with mental health issues; with Salvation Army they serve critically homeless youth with a disabling condition; and, with HACS they support homeless individuals with mental illness and/or drug dependency. New Hope's model for collaborative partnerships focuses on long-term results rather than short-term program outcomes - offering unique strategies for sustainable solutions. The solution is what prevents homelessness.


This year, New Hope celebrates its Twentieth Anniversary and commemorates the 8,000 lives they have touched with important support from the Houston community. With the opening of the Rittenhouse SRO in December, New Hope will own and operate ~1,000 units of SRO housing. New Hope now has capacity and will expand its mission to serve at risk and homeless families, including veterans and seniors, with its unique brand of high-quality housing + services.


For more information about New Hope their Perry property, visit their website at www.newhopehousing.com.


Perry Street Apartments


Nicole Cassier

New Hope Housing

The Downtown Body Shop


Greg and Linda Carter can't forget the day they decided to expand their Downtown Body Shop from Travis and Webster to the edge of downtown next to the Gulf Freeway.  It was September 11, 2001.  The new location right at the edge of downtown and the Gulf Freeway placed them right next to the freeway pillars that protected the homeless population from the elements.  The homeless aren't just passers-by at this location.  They are more like neighbors who live directly across the feeder.   


 "We couldn't help but look out the window and see homeless people and how they were trying to live.  We had to make a decision to either ignore them or embrace them, " said Linda Carter


The Downtown Body Shop became a place where some could pick up scrap metal to sell, or use the restroom.  Others came in for clothing, a can of tuna, or whatever the Carters had set aside for them.  The Carters, in their interaction always look for that special person they could offer to pay for work. 


"I remember a day when Greg asked a gentleman to spend a few hours on a project he had.  It involved some moving and lifting.  The guy worked tirelessly for 2-3 hours when Greg handed him $20 dollars.  The man started crying.  He never dreamed someone thought he was worth $20 dollars."


For the last year and a half, the formerly homeless David Rivas has worked full time for The Downtown Body Shop.  Rivas is currently a resident of 1000 Hills Ministry International.  When Rivas isn't working, he's a regular part of the leadership at Church Under the Bridge.  Rivas thinks the story of his past and how he ended up sober and working is not as interesting as what he is doing now, volunteering in the 1000 Hills Ministry faith based rehab program.  He lights up when describing it.


The Carters are inspired by their Church's mission statement:

"Sterling Wood Church will glorify God through the transformation of ourselves into a people who ceaselessly and without reservation live out the mission of the church in the communities where we live, work and play."


Soon the Carter's will have another new neighbor, Earl Hatcher Commons.  Being the good neighbors they are, the Carter's were among the first to donate toward the furniture fund. 


It's a good reminder that this project supports more than Houston's homeless.  It supports those, like the Carter's who are committed to helping end homelessness from their own front door. 


"Texans Don't Let Texans Go Homeless" 


Pictured below: David Rivas

David Rivas


  Cindy Gabriel


Magnolia Glen



Quietly resurrected, disputed homeless housing project moving forward.

 Magnolia Glen

A plan to convert a vacant motel-turned apartment complex into permanent housing for the homeless died nearly four years ago amid opposition from neighborhood groups and a lone city councilman, despite support from then-Mayor Bill White and all five members of Harris County Commissioners Court.


Plans to renovate the Magnolia Glen Apartments, however, quickly have been revived and are progressing without any financial backing from the city, or, apparently, the knowledge of the people who fought the project during its earlier incarnation.


The Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, a nonprofit that has been looking to convert the six-building complex in the 3800 block of Gulf Freeway since at least 2007, has joined forces with the county and secured enough federal funding to refurbish 120 of 184 units.


To read the full article please Click here.


Houston Chronicle


Compassionate Houston Organization Launches Adopt-A-Vet Initiative



Compassionate Houston has launched an initiative in support of homeless veterans. 


Through a coordinated effort of several government and non-governmental agencies, including the Houston Housing Authority, Harris County Community Services Department, and the Harris County Housing Authority, 101 chronically homeless veterans were housed within a 100-day period last summer.  More than 400 veterans were housed by the end of the year.  With the success of that pilot program, the Housing Houston's Heroes effort has been expanded this year, with a goal of housing 300 chronically homeless veterans in a 100-day period.  The First housing vouchers were issued in May and individuals are already moving in.


Though these veterans will also have access to social services and job assistance, their first challenge is to get settled in their new living spaces.  Compassionate Houston is asking Houstonians to join the Adopt-A-Vet project to provide basic household supplies in a "Welcome Home" basket for each veteran.  The approximate cost of adopting one veteran is $250.


To find out more details about Adopt-A-Vet please go to http://compassionatehouston.org/adopt-a-vet/


Jessica Preheim

Houston Housing Authority


NAEH National Conference Highlights


One of the highlights of the NAEH National Conference on Ending Homelessness was the opportunity to hear from and meet advocates and providers working across the country on the issue of youth homelessness. Communities including Seattle, Chicago, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC as well as representatives from The Urban Institute and The US Interagency Council on Homelessness were among those who shared insight into the issue and into the work that they are doing to end homelessness amongst both underage youth and those 18-24 years of age.


Some of the common themes and messages that resonated throughout the various sessions on this issue include:


  • Youth homelessness needs its own framework, one that takes into account the unique needs and circumstances of this population;
  • Homeless youth need access to stable housing, opportunities to complete their educational goals, mentorship in the area of employment, financial literacy education, access to health care services, and permanent connections that provide support and encouragement in order to improve their overall well-being;
  • Communities across the country need to do a better job of gathering data, counting homeless youth, and understanding their needs and circumstances in order to develop appropriate and effective interventions; and
  • Youth should have an active role in addressing this issue and developing solutions.


The information shared by and connections made with advocates and providers from around the country will prove invaluable as we continue to work to more fully understand and address the issue of youth homelessness in our own community.   

Lillian Ortiz

One Voice Texas




The conference was a chock-ful agenda and had good information in many of the sessions. I was particularly interested in outcome measures and evaluation. One in particular that stood out was EveryOne Home of Alameda County California.   They had done extensive work to break down the HEARTH priorities for the community, to apply these priorities to each sector of the continuum and set outcome measures appropriate for their role in the continuum of care.


After some community conversations and a training with the staff each of the HUD funded providers, they made the outcomes of each group known through annual reports and published information on their website.   They said that it was then a clear indicator of outcomes and was being used by the funding community as well to make informed funding decisions. It seemed clear that funders' reference and use of these measures would help drive system change.


Their complete report is available on the website at: http://www.everyonehome.org/measuring-success.html .

Since returning I have inquired and found that Houston is not quite ready to implement this level of outcome measures. We will watch for progress in this area.

Stephanie Foy

Funders Together Houston 


FTEH Institute



We had welcomes by Anne Miskey of FTEH, Nan Roman of National Alliance to End Homelessness, and keynote by Bryan Samuels Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.  


The morning session hosted by Funders Together was a series of tabletalks. The conversations were opportunities to network with other FTEH members and learn about what is happening in other communities. Each table had a specific topic area and was hosted by a member and featured someone with expertise in the area. The topics were: Funders Networks (hosted by our own Amanda Cloud), Systems Change, Veterans Homelessness, Family Homelessness, Chronic Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Federal Funding Cuts, Advocacy.   The conversations were rich and many business cards were exchanged.


Celene Meyer was part of a panel discussion that followed the tabletalks. She and other panelists discussed their activities in funding efforts to address homelessness. She did a great job and represented Houston very well.

Thanks to Amanda and Celene for their contributions to the Institute!


Stephanie Foy

Funders Together


2013 NAEH Conference

 2013 NAEH conference


Houston Delegation at the Funders Together Institute and 2013 National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in Washington, D.C. - July 22-24 included: Stephanie Foy, Celene Meyer, Jessica Preheim, Amanda Cloud, Kelly Opot, Meghna Goswami and Lillian Ortiz.


Earl Hatcher Commons

Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Project

Philanthropic Partners

Project Funding


To view a chart of funds already collected or pending review for the Earl Hatcher Commons Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Project please click here.


Nancy Frees Fountain


The Greater Houston Community Foundation Launches a Community Impact Fund to End Homelessness


The Greater Houston Community Foundation, in collaboration with FTEH - Houston, has officially launched a second Community Impact Fund. The fund will be named the Greater Houston Fund to End Homelessness (GHFEH)and it gives donors a way to give together in a focused and strategic way around homelessness.  The mission of the GHFEH is to pool resources toward common goals that promote effective, strategic, and innovative grant-making and targeting solutions for preventing and reducing homelessness in our community.  The purpose is to continue to build a local network of funders who are committed to reducing homelessness through leadership, education and advocacy; strategic collaboration and grant-making; and effective promotion and replication of best-practice models in greater Houston.


The first official meeting for donors interested in becoming steering committee members or donor partners is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8:00 am at the offices of GHCF, 5120 Woodway, Suite 6000, 77056.  The fund is open to donors, foundations, and individuals interested in collaborative giving.



Partnership Levels








Steering Committee

Work with GHCF to administer the fund and make grant allocation decisions


3 meetings a year/1 year










Donor Partners

  •  Attend Annual Meeting to discuss strategic grant priorities, review financials and grant documents, community impact outcomes 
  •  Make suggestions for grant allocations to Steering Committee 
  •  Participate in donor learning opportunities









Annual Meeting/1 year









$5,000 min/year


Donor Learning Community

Contribute and participate in educational opportunities and community site visits






$250 year


How to Contribute: Contributions can be made by check or by visiting www.ghcf.org and clicking DONATE NOW then selecting "Greater Houston Fund to End Homelessness." Current GHCF donors can make a grant through their donor advised fund as well. 


 For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Touchet                                                       

Donor Engagement Director                                     

Greater Houston Community Foundation                 

713-333-2228 or email: [email protected]   



Sequestration Impact on

the Houston Housing Authority


The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) faces the unenviable challenge of cutting its voucher spending by $7 million as a result of sequestration, which took effect on March 1, 2013. The sequestration implemented several federal fiscal austerity measures resulting in an across the board reduction of approximately 5.1 percent of all federal programs. These reductions directly impacted the 2013 Fiscal Year budget for the Agency's voucher program, which is taking on the full weight of the $7 million reduction in funds.


HHA utilizes voucher program funds to support over 17,000 families, and has been the primary source of vouchers for the citywide "Housing Houston's Heroes" initiative to end homelessness and assist homeless veterans, and our disabled and elderly Houston families. In the past year, HHA has provided homes to 557 homeless individuals and families, including over 488 homeless veterans. HHA was faced with a difficult decision to ending assistance to these and other low-income Houston families or implement innovative ways to stretch the assistance.


HHA has evaluated national best practices and recommended changes to the program that will reduce the amount of subsidy provided to affected landlords by an average of $37 per month. The strategic move will preserve both homeless assistance and assistance to all families currently with a voucher, but some families will feel the effects of the sequestration in two ways: first, the occupancy standards were revised to require more family members to share bedrooms; and second, payment standards in more affordable areas of the city were reduced. Both of these measures will be implemented incrementally over the next year to transition families to the new subsidy structure.


"These are not easy choices and not something that we wanted to do but something that we had to do," said Houston Housing Authority President & CEO Tory Gunsolley. "Most of the families that HHA serves are elderly, disabled, or working families struggling to break out of the cycle of poverty. It is unfortunate to be in a position where we have to recommend these solutions and place the burden of paying for sequestration on low-income families."


Jessica Preheim

Houston Housing Authority


2013 Calendar 


National Events


National Alliance to End Homelessness

2014 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness

February 18-19, 2014

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

New Orleans, LA


Local Events



Funders Together Meeting Schedule



September 3, 2013

Funders Together Workshop: Working Together at a Community Level

Place: The Simmons Foundation Board Room

109 N. Post Oak Lane, Ste. 220

Time:  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 


September 4, 2013

Greater Houston Grantmakers Forum Invites Funders Together to:

On Target: Building a Culture of Evaluation & Learning 

Place: United Way of Greater Houston

Time:  10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


October 31 - Thursday

Funders Together - General Meeting 

The Role of Philanthropy in System Change:

Permanent Supportive Housing

Place: Greater Houston Community Foundation

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


November - TBA

Funders Together Workshop: Working Together at a Community Level

Facilitated by: Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (Washington, D.C.)

Place: Greater Houston Community Foundation

Time: 9:30a.m. - 1:30p.m.


January 23, 2014 - Thursday

Funders Together - General Meeting

Providing Healthcare for the Homeless

Place: Greater Houston Community Foundation

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


Special Events 


September 18, 2013 - Wednesday

Faith Luncheon hosted by St. Martin's Episcopal and Episcopal Health Charities "What the Faith Community Can Do to Help End Homelessness"

Place: St. Martin's Episcopal Church - Bagby Parish Hall "C"

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


Site Visits



October 3, 2013 - Thursday

Life Works - Austin, TX - Transitional living for homeless youth

(Chartered bus for round trip to Austin)

Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 


Date - TBA - The HAY Center - Houston, TX 

Youth aging out of foster care - support services


Date - TBA - Covenant House - Houston, TX

Transitional living - homeless youth ages 18-21

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!