Texas Swing 2013
Texas Swing 2013
August 2, 2012
Brown Sugar came to Project Transitions shortly after being released from prison. As a transgender person from East Texas, the cards were stacked against her when she was put in jail for a minor charge. The judge maximized her sentence along with adding new charges the day of sentencing. Brown Sugar ended up with over a twenty year prison sentence, for a relatively minor charge.
Brown Sugar moved into our housing program, Roosevelt Gardens from a temporary boarding home. She was thrilled to have her first apartment since being released from prison. Brown Sugar had no income when she first moved in, but she already built such a vast community in a few months after her release, that she fully furnished her place in weeks. Brown Sugar builds community wherever she goes. She has an upbeat personality, positive outlook, and calm energy.
In less than a month from finding housing, Brown Sugar found a job! She works at Goodwill. She wakes up bright and early every morning to take the bus to work, and gets home around 7pm at night. It’s not easy to take the bus all the way across town for a full-time job. You can see that she gets tired from time to time, but the same beaming smile is always on her face regardless. She advanced rapidly at work. Currently, she trains other new employees who recently re-entered the Austin community from prison.
While work keeps Brown Sugar very busy, she also finds time to help lead community programs for her neighbors. She also works as a performance artist in the Austin drag scene. She hand stitches elaborate and gorgeous costumes. She takes pride in her fashion and has quite a talent with a needle and thread. Make-up and hair are art forms for her as well.
Soon, Brown Sugar will move into her own apartment. She is currently calling around to different apartment complexes, pricing, and touring, to see which one suits her best. Her warmth and positivity will be missed by staff and her neighbors, but we are so happy to see her succeed. She will do well wherever she goes, and we are privileged to help her get back on her feet. One of the most exciting moments in Project Transitions housing is seeing someone achieve their goal for independent living and move forward to thrive in their life.
October 12, 2012
KUT News recently reported $5 million over 5 years in federal funds for the Austin area for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). Tyler Pratt’s full report can be heard here on KUT News.
Project Transitions’ portion of that grant funding is about $300,000 per year, which only partially serves more than 100 individuals and families each year. Project Transitions must raise another $200,000 each year to fully serve our residents needs.
As quoted in KUT’s News story, “Our waiting list for housing is, at any given time, more than twice our capacity to serve,” said Josh Allen, Project Transition’s Executive Director. “So as quickly as we can move someone into housing, there are two other folks on the waiting list.”
The money comes at a time when Project Transitions is struggling to fill a $45,000 gap created by reduced funding from the United Way.
“We’re seeing it across the board generally with fundraising efforts,” Allen said, “specifically with grants and foundations. It’s just a much more competitive environment.”
Project Transition’s provides affordable, transitional housing with supportive services for individuals and families living with HIV through three housing programs: Roosevelt Gardens, Highland Terrace and Community Housing. Our goal is to help transition from homelessness, support them to gain the life-skills needed to live independently, and then move into long-term, affordable housing of their own.
October 12, 2012
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