A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Featured Member: Funders Together Houston

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At Funders Together, we make it a goal to share the work of funders across the country so you can learn what's working and adapt these strategies to your own community.  One way we do that is through our Featured Members.  Some are featured because of their innovative grantmaking.  Others are featured because they are making connections and bringing new people into the conversation about ending and preventing homelessness.  Still others are featured because they are challenging the very systems that allow homelessness to persist.  In each case, our Featured Members are an integral part of the solution to homelessness.

The Houston affiliate of Funders Together to End Homelessness organized intentionally as a public-private funders collaborative in order to align efforts, build on each other's strengths, leverage resources and work at a systems level.

The mission of Funders Together Houston is both simple and powerful: build a local network of funders who are committed to reducing homelessness through strategic collaboration and grantmaking.  In practice, this means that funders are learning with each other, promoting best-practice models in Greater Houston, and advocating for more effective policies.

Since its launch in September 2011, Funders Together has conducted educational site visits around the Houston area and formed two work groups: Advocacy and the Public-Private Funders Collaborative.  After spending some time pooling resources, Funders Together Houston is beginning to fund pilot projects to build awareness about what works among community stakeholders and provide accessible housing with appropriate wrap-around services.  And Funders Together Houston members are working together to rethink the system that allowed chronic homelessness to exist in the Houston area at all.

 

Funders Together Houston At-A-Glance:
 

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including private foundations, corporations, faith-based groups, a United Way, and government agencies

     
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who are committed to working together to end and prevent homelessness

 

Funders Together Houston Strategic Partners:


In 2013, Funders Together Houston ...

  • Formed a steering committee to provide governance to the collaborative;
  • Hosted five community events covering topics like how the faith community can help to end chronic homelessness and developing and financing permanent supportive housing to end homelessness;
  • Conducted six site visits at area mental health units, transitional housing units for homeless youth and young adults, permanent supportive housing units, and more;
  • Launched (through the Greater Houston Community Foundation) the Community Impact Fund to End Homelessness; and
  • Funded the Houston Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team Video, highlighting a community policing initiative as an alternative to incarceration.

 

To learn more about Funders Together Houston, read through their bulletin archive here, read their one-year anniversary blog here, or contact Nancy Frees Fountain.

 

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation


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