Our Mission is to provide dynamic, proactive leadership that engages policymakers and the community to end homelessness.
Our Vision is a community fiercely focused on ending homelessness.
Our Philosophy of Service:
- Support people in the context of their circumstances; recognize and honor their experiences, dignity, knowledge,
aspirations, and ability to overcome adversity.
- Affirm that people are experts in their own circumstances and couple their expertise with data to inform our
- Seek diverse voices and unique perspectives in order to best serve our community.
- Lead and foster collaboration that strengthens our homelessness response system.
- Advocate alongside the people we serve for the resources needed to fulfill our mission.
The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the lead agency that plans and implements community-wide strategies to end homelessness in Austin and Travis County. We are the backbone for the homeless services system and work closely with nonprofits and government agencies to coordinate assistance and housing for people experiencing homelessness in our community.
Read more about ECHO's work below
We know what it takes to end homelessness: housing. ECHO works with both local and regional policymakers to scale up housing resources to ensure our neighbors receive the support they need to exit homelessness. We advocate for adequate funding and policies to address homelessness in Austin and aim to increase public awareness on the issue of homelessness.
Organizations and interested stakeholders, including people with lived experience, working together to implement solutions to homelessness in Austin and Travis County. ECHO’s role includes providing a framework for community collaborations that produce evidence-informed programs and community standards that inform local policy decisions. Austin’s Action Plan to End Homelessness guides the work of ECHO and our partners as we work together to eradicate homelessness in our community.
Our Community Housing Department works to build relationships with the rental industry to increase housing options for people experiencing homelessness. ECHO develops and manages incentives and resources to create meaningful partnerships with rental properties across the city. The team works closely with homeless service providers and connects them with rental units so their clients can exit homelessness.
Our Community Housing team also works closely with the Housing Authorities of the City of Austin and Travis County as well as HUD multi-family owners and agents to create and manage homeless preferences, allowing households streamlined access to mobile subsidies and subsidized units.
ECHO’s Community Housing team is working closely with City leadership and affordable housing developers after the passage of a $250 million affordable housing bond in 2018. Our goal is to ensure that households exiting homelessness have access to affordable housing.
Continuum of Care
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes Continuum of Care funds available to communities through a grant process. Continuum of Care funds serve as a catalyst for our community to create a systematic response to ending homelessness and drive policy for our Coalition of service providers. ECHO serves as the lead agency for the Austin/Travis County Continuum of Care, and coordinates the Continuum of Care local funding competition.
Coordinated Entry provides a single doorway for people to walk through to access many different community resources. The Coordinated Entry team develops, implements, and oversees a system that connects individuals experiencing homelessness to housing supports and other services like healthcare. Our team assists local homeless service providers by providing trainings as well as outreach and assessment services.
Homeless Management Information System
ECHO is the designated Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) lead agency for the Austin/Travis County Continuum of Care. A Homeless Management Information System is a database used to record and track client-level information on the characteristics and services needs of people experiencing homelessness. As the HMIS lead, ECHO is responsible for the local administration of the HMIS software and provides technical assistance to participating agencies and end users.
Research and Evaluation
ECHO’s Research and Evaluation Department continuously analyzes program- and system-level data in order to provide actionable insights that inform program design, facilitate continuous quality improvement, and ensure our system produces excellent outcomes for all clients.