A Message from Austin Street Center’s CEO, Daniel Roby

The pain and suffering of generations of Black Americans run deep across the United States, including right here in Dallas. When calling for justice, we must also put our beliefs into action, which in turn will create better communities in which we live.

Austin Street Center has been on the frontlines for the past 36 years, tirelessly serving our community’s most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged. To this, 67% of our clients served are African Americans, thus it has and remains our position to stand for what is right and serve as advocates for those who need us.  Poverty alone does not explain the overrepresentation of minorities we see among the homeless population. The bottom line: People of brown and black skin are disproportionately impacted due to racism. And we must do more.

This is further emphasized by our team members who share personal stories of discrimination, abuse of power, total indifference to suffering, and outright racist acts that have impacted their own lives, as well as the lives of those we serve.

The pain and chaos of current tragedies have certainly been overwhelming; however, acts of injustice against Black Americans, including George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Atatianna Jefferson, Botham Jean – and countless others – has brought us to this inflection point. 

Austin Street Center stands in solidarity with our Black community against racism, hate, violence, social injustice, and inequality. As such:

We are frustrated – By a world that continues to disregard the lives of Black men and women while upholding the lives of the privileged.

We are frustrated – By systems that seem immovable, by the power that seems predictable, and by sins passed from generation to generation.

We are frustrated – Over the death of men and women who didn’t deserve it, by those who too often do not pay for their actions.

We are frustrated – By leadership that has been lacking, and by communities hurting.

We are prayerful – That justice will come and bring healing and restoration with it.

We are hopeful – That what has been is not what will be.

Together, we must counter chaos with the right kind of action, with concrete steps each of us must take toward justice. It begins with a commitment to be anti-racist and to love our neighbor – not just the neighbor next door. Then take another step, and another, until together we achieve racial equity and, at long last, true justice.  

In Remembrance of Jim T., Longtime Friend and Volunteer

Austin Street Center pauses to remember and give thanks for Jim T., a longtime friend and volunteer who recently passed away. Jim helped to touch lives through providing and serving meals at Austin Street Center.

Jim shared a story of when his church group made a variety of sandwiches to serve at Austin Street Center, and a lady walked away because they didn’t have a pimento cheese sandwich. He brought two dozen pimento cheese sandwiches the next time, and this same lady shared with Jim that she hadn’t eaten that sandwich in years—her mother made them for her when she was a little girl.

“Those pimento cheese sandwiches touched her heart in ways I can’t imagine, and it took no more effort on my part than I would have expended making some other type of sandwich,” said Jim. “I realized that simply being homeless doesn’t mean that you lose your humanity, or forfeit the right to have personal tastes and preferences.  And while simply providing food may meet the physical requirements to stay alive, maybe providing something that they really like might help them really live. Since that encounter, I see missions as so much more than the physical activity. I see it as showing God’s love through the physical action and touching someone’s life.”

Support Austin Street Center on “North Texas Giving Tuesday Now” on May 5

Support Austin Street Center on the May 5th North Texas Giving Tuesday Now. Early giving is available now through May 4. Thank you, Dallas Cowboys, Communities Foundation of Texas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas for spearheading this special effort to raise critical funds for COVID-19 relief and recovery.

Our homeless response system is stepping up to the challenge, while operating under unusual constraints. For more than 36 years, Austin Street Center has worked tirelessly to bring an end to homelessness in North Texas, and we are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our clients, despite these unchartered times.

According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homeless individuals infected by COVID-19 are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than the general population.

It is our mission and sincere desire to continue to take care of those who need us—despite the challenges we face. Together, we must take care of those who need us. Together, we will prevail and emerge stronger.

Donate today!