Newsletter – April 2017

April 2017
In This Issue
Mental Health Month is observed every May and gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and reduce stigma within our community. Integral Care’s programs and services help individuals in Travis County build their health so that everyone has a strong foundation for well-being. We are proud to meet the mental health needs of the 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental illness in any given year.



National Council for Behavioral Health Conference


The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s mental health and substance use treatment organizations. Made up of over 2,800 member organizations and serving 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and substance use disorder, the National Council strives to provide all Americans with access to comprehensive high-quality care.
Integral Care’s housing team attended the conference and had the opportunity to tour two Permanent Supportive Housing units operated by the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC).  DESC is a leader in the Housing First philosophy and practice. The single site housing complexes are very similar to our future Oak Springs community.
Seeing the single site Housing First project fully operational was inspirational.  It was complex with meticulous detail.
– Elizabeth Baker, LCSW, Practice Manager of ACT Teams and Supported Housing



Austin Plans for More Affordable Housing


The Austin City Council’s first-ever housing plan works to address Austin’s affordable housing crisis and will also determine where affordable housing units will be located within ten city council districts. Mayor Steve Adler stressed that the recently released zoning maps are still incomplete and require community input for potential revisions. The zoning maps were released to the public on April 18.
You can see where the Austin City Council hopes to place the affordable housing units by viewing the CodeNEXT Comparison Map.


Housing First Oak Springs Updates


In February, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) approved a resolution authorizing 25 Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for future Oak Springs’ residents. A month later, HACA passed another resolution for Housing Assistance Payments for 25 housing choice vouchers to Integral Care.
In addition, the Austin City Council approved the first installment of their $600,000 annual commitment to provide intensive mental and primary health services for future residents of Oak Springs. The installment will fund the Case Management team once Oak Springs is in operation. There will be four renewal options for a total contract amount of up to $3 million.


More great news: City of Austin and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation reviewed and approved our application for $888,122 in additional funding for the construction of Oak Springs.


Upcoming Events


Join Integral Care, the UT Texas System of Care and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as we observe Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Saturday, May 6th from 9-11:30 am. The event starts with a rally on the south steps of the State Capitol from 9-9:45 am. The rally is followed by a march to Wooldridge Square Park where participants will enjoy live music, a performance by the Austin Children’s Choir, an awards presentation, a butterfly release, games, food, giveaways, and more from 10-11:30am. Click for more information.


 Our very own, Kathleen A. Casey, Ph.D., Director of Adult Behavioral Health Systems, will be presenting at the Supportive Housing = Healthcare Conference, hosted by Texas Homeless Network and CSH.  The conference will be held in Austin May 1-3 at the Omni Hotel. 


We know that housing is more than four walls – it’s the basic foundation for mental health and well-being. I invite you to be a part of the solution at


Ellen Richards
Chief Strategy Officer
Integral Care
Housing First Oak Springs is a project of Integral Care