Partners in Hope
                           Envisioning Change                       Empowering People                      Encouraging Cooperation
Other Collaboratives
Partners in Hope is in the process of organizing two new collaboratives around employment and immigrant services in the 52 and 23 zip codes. Prospective members are being contacted and the first meetings should be in March (Immigrant Services) and April (Employment). If you have an interest in either of these areas, or are part of a group that offers services and would like to be part of these meetings, contact Allen Weeks at 512-653-4935 or e-mail at
Increasing Work Opportunities
Many would consider Austin’s economy “hot” right now, with low unemployment, rising house prices and luxury condos sprouting all over downtown. But if you are not able to land a well-paid tech, state or UT position, the economic boom may be more of a bust.
In fact, as in most American cities, those with poor educations find themselves limited to mostly low-paying service jobs, especially as manufacturing has diminished as an option. We see kids with parents working long hours to get by but unable to afford childcare. Many face a choice between not working and living a subsistence lifestyle on federal aid or joining the ranks of the working poor with no medical benefits.
Though these are big problems, we believe that things can be better. In fact, our work with local and state employment agencies, training programs and UT experts has convinced us that at least some of the problem lies with poor communication between those needing work and training and those with resources to offer.
Partners in Hope will be starting an employment collaborative, aimed at bringing together state and local employment agencies, educational institutions, private employers, and others with fresh ideas as to how to help people in our communities find meaningful employment and a living wage. Churches, neighborhood groups and residents will also be part of the team.
Connecting Immigrant Services
Austin is considered a “gateway city” by demographers, and east Austin is a first stop for many new immigrants to Texas. While Washington, D.C. debates immigration policy, our city deals with real people who are here right now, many of them children. We can’t ignore them away, whatever our politics may be. Local schools work heroically, especially given the current testing environment, to help kids with little or no English. Many of these children also deal with the effects of poverty.
Partners in Hope has been working with several groups who do wonderful work among immigrants. At the recent HopeFest, we offered legal and educational assistance to immigrants, as well as free dental care. The proposed immigrant collaborative will bring together groups who provide legal counsel, work assistance, housing aid, counseling and training to immigrant families. Churches and neighborhood groups will be invited to be part of the conversation as well. Our hope is that out of our meetings, we will be able to move past just providing band-aids to the many problems facing these families, and that immigrant families can find their voice in our communities