Newsletter – November 2016

November 2016
In This Issue
We are grateful to live in a community where people take care of each other. Thank you for helping homeless individuals living with mental illness, substance use disorder, and intellectual or developmental disabilities in Travis County.

Housing First:  John shares his story

“I was tired of living on the street. It can be rough and tough out there.”
Our client, John, has been housed using Housing First principles since March 2016. His care team, along with members of Integral Care’s Chronic Disease Management Team, helped John recover from substance use, tend to his mental and physical well being, and remain housed. We interviewed John about being homeless and how he was able to turn his life around. Read what he had to say about his incredible journey from homelessness to being housed.

How did you become homeless?
I’ve been homeless on and off since I lost my duplex in south Austin six years ago. I had lost my lease and didn’t update the information with the housing authority. I didn’t get an apartment in time and I lost my voucher. I lived at the corner of Pleasant Valley Road and Riverside Drive for some time until I went to my sister’s house. There wasn’t running water or sewage at her house and I couldn’t cook so I went back to live on the street. I signed up at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), did the Coordinated Assessment, and Axton became my case worker. I missed a couple of appointments at first, but I could tell he genuinely wanted to help me so I went with the care plan. He was a good case worker. He helped me get back on my medications since I had stopped taking them.


What helps you stay motivated?
I was tired of living on the street. It can be rough and tough out there.


How have things improved for you since you’ve been living in your apartment?
There is so much negativity on the street. I like the people but the negativity is hard to deal with. Now, I can get up and take care of myself. I can cook whenever I want. I can clean. Things in my life are much more positive.


What are you thankful for?

I have a lot to be thankful for. I have 5 case workers and I’m doing much better because of the help they have given me. The team at Integral Care is very positive. I’m not going to go back to the street. I want to keep my appointments. I want to do positive things in life.

#GivingTuesday November 29, 2016
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated in the U.S. on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. #GivingTuesday is a way for the community to focus their holiday and end-of-year giving on local organizations working to meet the needs of under-served populations.
Community Organization Gift Amount
Bank of America $10,000
Alice Reynolds Foundation $50,000
Rathgeber Challenge Grant $1,000,000 Pledge
Anonymous Donors $10,000


We hope that you will consider giving to Housing First Oak Springs on #GivingTuesday and join these, most recent, organizations committed to improving the lives of homeless individuals in Travis County.



Save the Date:
We are excited to announce the Housing First Rathgeber Challenge Event on February 22.  This fundraising event will feature a keynote speaker who looks at healthcare in our community in a unique way.  More details to come next month.
Our Host Committee*
Sam Bryant
JoLynn Free
Clarke Heidrick
Ali Khataw
Jill McFarland
MariBen Ramsey
Randi Shade
*as of 11/22/16


From all of us at Integral Care, have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Ellen Richards
Chief Strategy Officer
Austin Travis County Integral Care
Housing First Oak Springs is a project of Austin Travis County Integral Care
Austin Travis County Integral Care, P.O. Box 3548, Austin, TX 78764