FAQ

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that will help you to learn more about Front Steps.

 

 

What is Front Steps?
Front Steps is a private non-profit organization contracted by the City of Austin to manage the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH). Front Steps offers not only a variety of basic needs services for homeless adults, but also offers longer term programs focused on transitioning clients into housing.

What is Front Steps’ mission statement?
Based on the belief that all people deserve the dignity of a safe place to call home, Front Steps’ mission is to provide a pathway home through shelter, affordable housing, and community education.

Who does Front Steps serve?
Front Steps serves chronic, temporary, and formerly homeless individuals. For additional Front Steps demographics, please view our ARCH Visitor Profile. [PDF]

How many individuals does Front Steps serve each day?
Front Steps provides a variety of services to approximately 800 men and women per day.

What does Front Steps do?
Front Steps implements the following programs: the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, and the Central Texas Recuperative Care Center. In addition, we oversee transitional and permanent housing programs in apartments and homes throughout Austin, complete with supportive services designed to address the individual needs of each client. Each of these programs is described more fully below and on the What We Do section of this web site.

What is the ARCH?
Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, or ARCH, is one building occupied by numerous organizations and agencies focused on transitioning homeless adults into housing. The ARCH is owned by the City of Austin and managed by Front Steps. It contains a Day Resource Center, an emergency overnight shelter, and a variety of other services, including physical and mental health care, legal assistance, substance abuse treatment, and much more. To learn more, click here.

I’ve heard the ARCH described as low-demand shelter. What does that mean?
That means that the ARCH doesn’t turn folks away regardless of their circumstances. This aligns with our philosophy that everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

What is the Central Texas Recuperative Care Program?
The Central Texas Recuperative Care Program serves as a “home health care” facility for homeless individuals who are too sick to return to the streets or a shelter, but not sick enough to continue to occupy a bed at a local hospital. In addition to providing a recuperative bed, Front Steps also looks for appropriate transitional housing for each client and works toward obtaining a permanent home for participating clients. To learn more, click here.

What is the Keep Austin Housed AmeriCorps program?
Keep Austin Housed, an AmeriCorps project of Front Steps, provides intensive mentoring and case management services to Austin area adults, families and youth experiencing homelessness, at-risk of becoming homeless, and who are formerly homeless. After our 7th year with this project, the program was discontinued in 2010 due to changes in funding priority on behalf of the Onestar Foundation. To learn more, click here.

What is the Front Steps Housing program?
Front Steps provides a full range of services to support our clients in moving from homelessness to safe, affordable long-term housing. We operate the First Steps Transitional Housing program, as well as permanent housing at apartments and houses throughout Austin. To learn more, click here.

What is Front Steps’ annual budget?
Front Steps has an operating budget of $3.4 million. We receive financial support from individual donors, corporations, foundations, and faith-based organizations, as well as city, state, and federal funding. To check out our recent financial statements and our IRS Form 990, click here.

How do I know Front Steps is a good steward of the funds they receive?
Aside from the successful programs and activities which demonstrate our ability to put community contributions to their most effective purpose, Front Steps also makes available our Annual Audit report and our IRS Form 990.

What is Front Steps’ Federal Tax Identification number (or Employer Identification Number-EIN)?
Front Steps’ Tax ID number/EIN is 74-2824054.

When was Front Steps’ founded?
Front Steps was formed in 1997 as the Capital Area Homeless Alliance. Learn more about our history by clicking here.

What is Front Steps’ stance on panhandling?
Front Steps is all about restoring hope to the homeless. We are often asked how we feel about panhandling. It’s a tough issue, one that draws much controversy, even among homeless advocates. Our recommendation is to not give to panhandlers based on the fact that some people who are panhandling may be struggling with addiction, and the donor has no way of knowing if their gift is helping or hurting. It is nice to smile at the person panhandling and say, “No, thank you,” – in this way, you are recognizing the person as an individual rather than ignoring him or her. Some people like to give out energy bars or water. Front Steps believes that best way to help homeless men and women in our community is to support organizations that assist people on their journey from homelessness to housing as a volunteer or donor. We are strongly opposed to aggressive panhandling, particularly when the person being solicited feels threatened or is physically harmed.

How can I get involved as a volunteer or benefactor?
Visit the volunteer section to learn more about ways you can get involved with our work. Click here to submit a volunteer application or here to make a financial contribution.

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