Guiding Families Home



We provide homeless families hope, opportunity, and solutions while also promoting the dignity of individuals who suffer homelessness.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Monte C. Osburn

Main address

PO Box 140946

AUSTIN, TX 78714-0946 USA

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NTEE code info

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Feed My People

Feed My People is the original program of Foundation for the Homeless, established in 1987, before FFH was founded in 1989. The program began as a grassroots, spontaneous ministry of women from 5 churches who came together for Bible study. They began by taking donated donuts to day workers on Second Street in downtown Austin. By 1988 the ministry had become a regular offering at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. Volunteers drove a bus to transport homeless adults from downtown to the suburban church for a warm breakfast, hygiene items and showers, clothing, etc. and returned them. As the program grew, another church, Faith Lutheran, joined and participated for more than five years. In 2001 Feed My People moved to First United Methodist Church in downtown Austin where it remains. The program serves 250-425 adults with a warm breakfast, hygiene items and services, eye care referrals, help with identification documents, clothing, shoes etc. when available, periodic health screenings and caring presence from 25-50 volunteers. After breakfast, voluntary worship, AA meetings and book groups are offered.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Foundation for the Homeless provides rapid re-housing services for families with minor experiencing homelessness. Part of the services are provided through a multi-agency collaborative focused on case management for obtaining and maintaining safe and stable housing.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

FFH uses Coordinated Entry Assessment referrals from the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) for rehousing of literally homeless families with minor children.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Best Single Source Plus Collaborative 2005

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of households that obtain/retain permanent housing for at least 6 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Number of low-income families housed in affordable, well-maintained units as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program

Family Stability

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Foundation for the Homeless exists to empower Central Texans in the fight against hunger, homelessness and poverty. Our chief goals are to prevent, end and reduce the suffering of homelessness in Central Texas. Foundation for the Homeless uses "housing first" approaches to help families overcome homelessness and regain housing stability so that their experience of homelessness is rare, brief and one-time.

FFH accomplishes these goals by: * Accepting Coordinated Assessment (CA) referrals of literally homeless persons for case-managed rehousing financial assistance using resources available through the Best Single Source Plus collaboration led by Caritas of Austin. FFH conducts separate assessments of all other potential clients. *Providing case-managed homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing assistance to help families and individuals avoid or exit homelessness, ideally, without the need for emergency shelter.*Providing safe, family-friendly short-term shelter in the facilities of local congregations and within several leased houses so that families are not on the street, in their cars or in campgrounds and can work toward rehousing. * Providing case management services and financial assistance to families who are experiencing literal homelessness including, advocacy and help with: job supports such as child care and transportation: improving income and debt remediation; landlord-tenant mediation, landlord outreach, housing identification and qualifying for housing. * Providing food and landlord outreach and housing stability case management services to families with children in the Manor Independent School District. *Providing in-home housing stability case management services to help families improve their household income and establish the community supports they need to sustain their housing.

Our targets for 2020 are as follows: *Seventy-five households/246 individuals will receive case-managed services and financial assistance to prevent or end their homelessness through FFH as part of the Best Single Source Plus collaboration. The collaboration's outcome measure states that at least 70% will attain housing stability. *Thirty-eight homeless families/114 individuals will receive emergency shelter, meals, case management services and rehousing assistance through the Interfaith Hospitality Network shelter and Family Rehousing Initiative program(s) and 76% of those families will attain safe, stable rehousing for 6 months or longer. * Thirty families with children in the Manor Independent School District will receive food and housing-related case management services through FFH to stabilize their housing through the Families With Voices collaboration which is led by Integral Care.*Seventy households with incomes below 200% FPL will receive utility debt assistance through the Austin Energy Plus 1 program.

Foundation for the Homeless works collaboratively with the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) which leads the Continuum of Care for Austin and Travis County, other homeless and health services providers, and our faith-based partners to make the experience of family homelessness rare, brief and one-time.

FFH accepts referrals from ECHO's Coordinated Assessment process for rehousing of persons experiencing literal homelessness and prioritizes our use of Best Single Source Plus resources toward this. FFH utilizes the Homeless Management Information system to confirm client eligibility and document services rendered for all of our housing and homeless services programs. For the Families With Voices program, FFH additionally uses HMIS to document fee for services arrangements.

Since the inception of homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing programming in 2009, Foundation for the Homeless has steadily increased our shelter diversion and rehousing success. By collaborating with other providers and leveraging its program benefits, FFH now helps 4X as many people avoid and exit homelessness into permanent housing as we did by using shelter and transitional housing vouchers supported by the HUD funded Passages program.

Foundation for the Homeless, its faith-based and community partners will continue to meet the shelter needs of families through the Interfaith Hospitality Network/Family Rehousing Initiative program(s). The Family Rehousing Initiative launched in October 2015 to rework and enhance the shelter, case management services and financial assistance for rehousing available to families experiencing literal homelessness.

In December 2015, FFH consolidated two IHN loops or networks into one network comprised of congregations in North and South Austin. Congregations were also asked to host for two weeks at a time whenever possible so as to minimize disruption for the families. Every one to two weeks, one of our faith partners opens their doors and converts up to 4 classrooms or meeting rooms into bedrooms so that up to 4 homeless families can stay in a room of their own, intact as a family. Volunteers provide meals and hospitality to the families staying the night on their campus.

The implementation of the Family Rehousing Initiative and organizational changes to IHN increased Foundation for the Homeless' capacity to serve families experiencing homelessness. As a result, FFH served as many families in 2016 as in 2015 and 2014 combined. Specifically, FFH served 39 families during 2016, compared with 22 families during 2015 and 17 families in 2014.

Foundation for the Homeless will continue to recruit congregations and train volunteers in order to maintain a full host schedule for IHN. FFH will also continue to explore opportunities to develop longer term shelter arrangements at Peace Lutheran Church and opportunities for IHN volunteers to support families who are using the three houses as shelter.

Foundation for the Homeless Board of Directors continued to provide effective leadership, generous giving and financial stewardship to guide the organization through the implementation of two new government-funded grants: the Family Rehousing Initiative (est. 2015) and Families With Voices (est. 2016).

The addition of these two grants effectively doubled FFH's total budget, increased case-managed resources for shelter and rehousing, and established new work priorities for FFH's staff. Five FTE staff were hired for these new programs. FFH remains leanly staffed and 5 of 13 work within multiple programs and projects.

At the February 2016 organizational meeting, the board finalized new vision and mission statements and agreed to prioritize financial stability planning. The board committed to conduct financial sustainability planning sessions throughout 2016. A committee composed of the board's Executive Committee, Resource Development Work Group and four director-level staff met several times to review financial management and fundraising strategies, contain costs, define future goals and prepare the 2017 budget. In July 2016, FFH reduced its staff by one member in the area of community engagement and development to address funding cuts in the HUD-funded Passages program and soft revenues during the summer months. This left FFH without any dedicated development staff. FFH finished 2016 in a cash positive position.

In December 2016, Sharon Lowe, J.D., MA Pastoral Ministry who served as Executive Director since October 2007, announced her intention to step down following a planned succession and transition period. The new Executive Director, Toni Williams Townsend, started April 17, 2017 and Ms. Lowe exited on June 2, 2017.

Ms. Townsend has 20+ years of experience in nonprofit leadership and business consulting in the areas of legal services management, family and children's services and philanthropy. Ms. Williams has training and experience in building a sustainable funding program and will guide its implementation at Foundation for the Homeless.

Foundation for the Homeless has three other director level staff with a combined work experience of more than 50 years, each with Master's degrees. FFH's Director of Client Services has a LMSW degree and is qualified to supervise social work employees and interns.

FFH has five experienced case managers; two have Master's degrees and three are retired school teachers. Two AmeriCorps Case Management Aides work with the program staff to provide supportive services.

FFH's staff have developed long-standing collaborative relationships with more than 70 congregations, health and human services organizations, housing providers, government and businesses to provide access to housing, assistance with legal issues, child care, transportation, finance workshops, job search assistance and training, physical and mental health services, home furnishings and other in-kind donations.

Foundation for the Homeless has a rich history of helping families facing the crisis of homelessness. Since opening Texas' first Family Promise-Interfaith Hospitality Network shelter in 1993, roughly 750 families have received safe shelter, meals, and compassionate support there. Between 71% and 93% of the families that entered FFH's IHN shelter exited into safe, stable housing (transitional or permanent).

Between 1993 and 2009, the bulk of Foundation's work was focused on homeless families with children, using a continuum of care or “housing readiness" model that includes shelter and development of a plan for self-sufficiency. During 2008, FFH began shifting toward so-called “Housing First" strategies that seek to keep people housed or re-house them as quickly as possible. Housing First strategies for families include practices that prevent homelessness, rapidly re-house the homeless or help create affordable permanent and permanent supportive housing.

Since 2009, the Foundation has participated in several collaborations to offer rent and utility assistance, housing location, landlord-tenant mediation, etc. to prevent homelessness for persons with low incomes or to rapidly rehouse persons experiencing homelessness. We added emergency basic needs services through FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter Program and Austin Energy's Plus 1 utility assistance program in 2011.

During 2015 and 2016, FFH expanded its case-managed shelter, rehousing, and housing stability programming, and added landlord outreach and food and nutrition services, including the development of a community garden at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Manor.

FFH does not own any facilities and has not yet created any affordable or supportive housing to address the needs of families or individuals who are experiencing or at risk for homelessness. FFH does conduct outreach to landlords and housing providers and advocate for affordable and supportive housing. Through the Families With Voices program, FFH expects to hold meetings that will encourage development of affordable, multi-family units in Manor. The FFH Board of Directors is also exploring opportunities for owning shelter and/or housing as part of its strategic planning.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Families with minor children that are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 12/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Randy Teich

Self Employed Consultant

Term: 2021 - 2023

Board co-chair

Mr. Rich Egan

Patent Attorney

Term: 2021 - 2023

Julie Nelson


Keith Winkeler


Debbie Childers

Retired, accountant

Lyn Loeffler


Carl Case, Jr.


Philip Salem

Commerical Real Estate

Errol Hardin

Tx Parks & Wildlife Dept.

June Davis


Scierra Robledo

Woodforest Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/22/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.