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Solutions to homelessness exist – they require scaling up social services and housing programs, including the pathways from shelter to housing. To date, Austin has not identified adequate funding to address this challenge. How would you work to identify the funding needed?

Kathie Tovo

City Council, District 9

I have been a strong and consistent leader on developing and funding programs that serve people experiencing homelessness. My efforts have included supporting the creation of the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), chairing the membership council for the lead agency coordinating Austin’s homelessness strategies, and working to develop and approve the “Action Plan for Ending Homelessness,” in addition to leading on efforts to: identify potential city buildings for emergency shelters; redefine the scope of the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) to improve the services it provides, and establish downtown public restrooms, among others. I have also led successful efforts to fund key homelessness services, including increasing funding for the HOST program by over $3 million in the next budget alone, allocating Downtown Density Bonus Program funding for permanent supportive housing, providing childcare vouchers for families at the Salvation Army’s, and waiving City fees for the Community First! Village. I have also led on establishing and allocating funding for “Pay for Success,” an innovative program through which the City will be able to leverage private-sector efforts to fund needs such as homelessness services and pay the partner entities after key metrics of success are met. Going forward, I will continue to lead on developing new, innovative programs serving individuals experiencing homelessness and on identifying funding for these programs.