Leadership Council is the governing body for Austin/Travis County’s Homelessness Response System. The Council is made up of people with firsthand experience of homelessness, service providers, local government leaders, and community equity advocates. The group is responsible for setting and upholding best practices, policies, and procedures for organizations that provide services to unhoused people in our community.
About Leadership Council
Background & Composition
Communities across the U.S. receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Continuum of Care (CoC) program. These funds come with certain requirements, one of which is to create and facilitate a governing CoC Board to ensure the community works together toward solutions to end homelessness.
The CoC Board existed in Austin and Travis County as Membership Council until 2021. In 2020, our community initiated an extensive restructuring of the Board to center firsthand experience of homelessness and racial equity in both the composition and the guiding charge of the group. Stakeholders at our annual spring meeting approved the first slate of Leadership Council voting members in May 2021.
According to the CoC Board Selection Policy, Leadership Council voting seats are reserved as follows:
HRS Leadership Council Seat Category Number/ Seat Types Seat Terms Government
1. Local Government Representative - Travis County
2. City of Austin Homeless Strategy Officer
3. City of Austin Equity Office and/or Civil Rights Office
3 Appointed Seats No term Limit Public Housing Authority Representative: Housing
Authority City of Austin (HACA)
1 Appointed Seat No Term Limit Homeless Response System Providers
1. HUD funded Provider
2. Provider NOT a recipient of HUD funds
2 Elected Seats 2-year min to 3-
Healthcare and/or Disability 1 Elected Seat 2-year min to 3-
Mental Health/Substance Abuse 1 Elected Seat 2-year min to 3-
Education or Workforce Development 1 Elected Seat 2-year min to 3-
Other Funders (Elected) 1 Elected Seat 2-year min to 3-
Persons with Lived Expertise of Homelessness
1. Youth or Young Adult Community Advocate w/ Lived
Experience of Homelessness
2. Community Advocate w/ Lived Experience of
3. Community Advocate w/ Lived Experience of
3 Elected Seats 2-year min to 3-
To ensure maximum representation, the “Other” seats prioritize
candidates that increase diverse stakeholder representation.
0 or 2 Seats Elected
Membership must equal
an odd number
2-year min to 3-
Committees & Workgroups
One of Leadership Council’s duties is to oversee the activities of Committees and Workgroups. Currently there are five standing committees and however many workgroups, as outlined below. Unless otherwise noted, all Committee and Workgroup meetings are open to the public. Find links to join virtually on our Governance Calendar.
Leadership Council is responsible for developing, approving, and enforcing policies and procedures for projects that are funded through our local Continuum of Care (CoC). Some additional funders in our community, including the City of Austin, often require projects they fund to follow these same standards.
Leadership Council meets twice monthly, once with public participation and the other a closed executive session. The public meeting is held on the first Monday of each month from 12-2 p.m. Committees and Workgroups meet publicly according to the schedules of voting members and/or group leads. Upcoming meeting are displayed in the list to the right. Find the full public calendar here.
Agendas & Minutes
Submit Agenda Item
Governance Charter (PDF)
2022 Leadership Council Roadmap (PDF)
Compensation Policy for Governance Participants (PDF)
Shared Values and Group Agreements (PDF)
Code of Conduct for Governance Members (PDF)