Who We Serve: Austin’s Hidden Homeless
All families served by Saint Louise House are coming out of homelessness, with over 75% having experienced domestic violence and 100% having experienced traumatic situations.
As Austin housing has become increasingly unaffordable, the hidden homeless crisis has grown. Afraid of losing their children should their homeless status be discovered, single mothers and their children often bounce from one temporary situation to the next, sleeping in shelters, on friends’ sofas or floors, and in cars or hotels. As these mothers spend their days figuring out where they are going to sleep each night and what they are going to eat, they can focus on little else.
These physically and emotionally precarious living situations contribute to these families’ instability by keeping them in a constant state of crisis, putting them at an increased risk of victimization, sexual abuse, illness, and despair. Children experiencing homelessness are more likely than their housing stable peers to suffer from developmental delays; chronic and acute health problems; and behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues. Further, the longer the duration of homelessness, the more severe the negative impact on child health and development.
The link between a stable home and good health are inextricable. Without safe, stable and affordable housing, mothers cannot focus on their family’s physical and mental health, or on any of the other components that are foundational to living healthy and self-sufficient lives.
Saint Louise House is deeply committed to supporting these women-led families as they move from crisis to long-lasting stability.
How We Serve: Providing Pathways To Stability
Founded in 2000 to address the drastic shortage of safe housing for women and their children experiencing homelessness in Austin, the vision of Saint Louise House far surpasses providing homes to the most vulnerable of the homeless. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing pathways for these women-led families to move from homelessness to healthy, independent lives. We believe everyone deserves a place to call home, a place to heal and the opportunity to learn and grow.
Safe, stable, and deeply affordable housing provides the foundation upon which these mothers are able to focus on the things that once seemed impossible—seeking better employment and a better education for themselves and their children, addressing their and their children’s physical and mental health, and being a family.
Saint Louise House is with these families every step of the way, providing the life skills training, counseling, financial literacy and parenting coaching, employment and education services, and encouragement needed to help navigate from a place of despair to one of financial independence and health, breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness for generations to come. We have a success rate of over 90% of families maintaining stability and increasing self-sufficiency as a result of our evidence based, structured approach to the housing and wraparound services we provide.
- Families find on-site resources for meeting basic needs such as a food pantry, bus passes, and utility assistance as well as linkages to community resources and access to physical and mental healthcare, lawyers, and other specialists. Most importantly, they find a supportive community through regular social gatherings and activities.
- Mothers find support for improving education and employment opportunities and a partner on their journey out of homelessness through intensive case management with weekly goal setting. They have access to on-site life skills training and parent coaching as well as extensive employment services. Additional education and employment supports include financial assistance for childcare, transportation, and expenses related to goals.
- Children thrive in a safe and supportive environment that provides social and emotional learning groups at each age level, counseling, and support for participation in extracurricular activities. Education and health outcomes for children improve as their mothers receive support advocating for their children’s educational and health needs in and out of school.