About Front Steps

Front Steps was formed in 1997 as the Capital Area Homeless Alliance in response to a recommendation of the Community Action Network’s 1996 Comprehensive Plan for Addressing Homelessness. Our philosophy has always been that all people deserve the dignity of a safe place to call home.

Front Steps offers a continuum of services that help people transition from homelessness into housing. We have, for two decades, been selected by the City of Austin (via competitive application process) to manage the City’s downtown shelter, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless/ARCH.

In addition to shelter services, Front Steps secures federal and philanthropic funding for programming beyond shelter operations. We expand our reach with in-kind donations to meet the needs of shelter and recently housed clients, volunteer hours, and strategic partnerships to meet essential needs.

Our evidence-based programs provided direct services to approximately 4,500 people experiencing homelessness AND placement of over 400 people into housing in 2019.

Our Mission and Vision

Our mission is to provide a pathway home for our neighbors experiencing homelessness by offering emergency shelter, affordable housing, recuperative medical care, supportive services, and community awareness.

Our vision is that no person in our community should ever have to spend the night on the streets.

Services for Veterans

Front Steps has worked to secure a range of funding from the Austin Community Foundation, the Texas Veterans Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide services for clients. Most veterans are placed in housing within 60-90 days. During this 60-90 day period as housing is being lined up, clients are provided with case management including, but not limited to, budgeting, self sufficiency, maintaining healthcare services, increasing income, and acquiring identification. Each veteran is provided a Coordinated Assessment (CA), which allows Austin’s community providers to identify and prioritize services for the most vulnerable veterans.

Learn More About Our Veteran Programs

Our Shelter Services

Front Steps is dedicated to ending homelessness in Austin. We have managed the ARCH shelter downtown for more than twenty years— providing case management to move clients from street/shelter to stable housing. The shelter is not intended to be housing, but to be a place for individuals to stay while finding a way to move into stable, secure housing. Like a bus terminal or an airport, it is part of the journey, not the destination. We offer day services (laundry, showers, restrooms, mail pick up, internet access, etc.) for men and women experiencing homelessness. Our night sleep clients have access to all day services, dinner, and are enrolled in case management to find secure housing.

Learn More About Our Services at the Shelter

Rapid Rehousing

Front Steps works with every client to overcome the barriers that prevent housing. For many individuals experiencing homelessness, the primary issues are financial, and clients can benefit from targeted assistance. Rapid rehousing intervention is designed to help individuals who don’t need intensive and ongoing supports to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing.

Learn More About Our Rapid Rehousing Program

Permanent Supportive Housing

Our Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) provides long-term housing with ongoing case management for clients leaving the streets/shelters and not yet able to be fully independent. Permanent supportive housing is a proven solution to homelessness for clients with the greatest challenges–pairing housing with case management and supportive services until a client leaves the program or passes away.

Learn More About Our Permanent Supportive Housing Program

Keep Austin Housed/AmeriCorps

Front Steps leads the ONLY AmeriCorps program in Texas focused solely on homelessness–bringing financial and staffing resources to this work in Austin. Since 2003, our Keep Austin Housed/AmeriCorps program has placed hundreds of members into nonprofit workplaces–launching many careers from these first years of service.

Keep Austin Housed places approximately 30 full-time AmeriCorps members into Front Steps housing programs and ten other nonprofits in Austin, Texas, where they work directly with individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Keep Austin Housed members help more than 250 individuals obtain safe, stable, and affordable housing each year.

AmeriCorps is an effective private-public partnership used by nonprofits, schools, faith-based organizations, and others to strengthen communities across the nation.

Learn More