Austin’s Employ & Empower Job Fair is a collaborative event hosted by 5 nonprofit organizations committed to supporting and empowering the local homeless community in gaining stability and self-sufficiency in a variety of ways.


Front Steps believes that everyone deserves the dignity of a safe place to call home, and this belief is reflected in its mission of providing a pathway home through shelter, affordable housing, and community education. Front Steps manages the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), a day resource center for adults experiencing homelessness and provides basic needs services. In the 2014 program year, Front Steps served 5,751 unique individuals in the Day Resource Center. The ARCH also operates as an emergency overnight shelter for men. In addition to running the ARCH, Front Steps provides a variety of services and programs for the homeless community. As a whole, these programs housed 197 clients last year.


Austin Free-Net (AFN) provides technology training and access to the local community, fostering skills that enable people to succeed in a digital age. With computer labs all around the city, members of the community are welcome and are helped on a walk-in basis. AFN’s “Getting It Done” Program provides individualized, student-centered training to people experiencing homelessness.  At the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, students work with the AFN trainer to determine the barriers they have to employment, such as a lack of resume, email account, phone number, or the ability to apply online. The trainer then designs a custom curriculum to teach them the computer skills they need to look for work while they’re looking for work. Since October 2014, Austin Free-Net programs have served over 550 students. To date, these students have learned over 2700 new skills - an average of 38 new skills per student and 5.4 new skills per class.


Back on My Feet (BoMF) uses running as a way to help people experiencing homelessness transform the way they see themselves and create confidence and promote self-sufficiency.  In addition to the running aspect, BoMF offers its members a variety of opportunities in collaboration with its community partners that include financial literacy and other skill-building classes as well as educational and job readiness trainings. Upon training completion, members have access to interview and employment opportunities with BoMF partners and are offered financial assistance to overcome certain financial barriers. BoMF’s Austin chapter began in January 2013. Since then, 143 members have been served, 72 members have obtained employment, 25 members have obtained housing, and 62 races have been run.


Goodwill Central Texas has focused on a single goal for almost six decades- empowering people to work. Through education and job training, retail stores and business development services, and community partnerships, Goodwill strives to do whatever it takes to transform lives through the power of work. In 2014, Goodwill had 3,600 job placements (an increase of 465 from last year).  In total, 1,315 individuals served by Goodwill in 2014 identified as currently experiencing homelessness.  Out of that number, 841 individuals have been placed in jobs.

Trinity Center’s mission is to serve the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Programs are based on a neighbor-to-neighbor approach that fosters trust and community between those who have housing and a steady income and those who do not. The Center currently offers opportunities for neighbors and volunteers to develop positive relationships with each other, serves meals, provides basic necessities, and connects neighbors with social service resources in Austin. In 2013, Trinity Center had a total of 22,640 visits, meaning the number of times people entered the Center and signed in, and estimates serving 2,000 individuals per year.