On August 5, LifeWorks hosted the City’s presentation of the anticipated 2020 proposed budget. Celebrating 24 years with the organization, LifeWorks Chief Executive Officer, Susan McDowell welcomed Mayor Steve Adler, City Manager Spencer Cronk, City Council Members, and media to LifeWorks east side location. LifeWorks is one of many organizations the City invests in and partners with that is showing success. Susan’s commitment to the LifeWorks mission and goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020, made LifeWorks an ideal location for the City to announce plans on addressing Austin’s homelessness for the upcoming fiscal year.
Following Susan’s warm welcome was Lyric Wardlow, Lifeworks Youth Advocacy Specialist. Once-homeless, Lyric is now a thriving entrepreneur who shared the success of advocacy efforts by the Austin Youth Collective. She asked that City Council give thought to where funding goes to ensure that youth have access to every opportunity possible. Lyric bravely strives to be the voice for those who don’t yet have the opportunity to be heard. She hopes that one day everyone has a seat at the table.
The budget was then presented by the City Manager who proposed a historic commitment to ending homelessness in Austin. This year’s budget process included unprecedented collaboration in building the budget to increase quality and equality across City services. Citywide spending on homeless-related services, support, and facilities will increase to nearly $63 million. The cornerstones of support will include housing displacement prevention, crisis mitigation, and re-empowerment through safe and sustainable housing solutions. With 21 programs designed to bolster self-sufficiency under the categories of Housing, Counseling, and Education/Workforce, LifeWorks is a perfect example of comprehensive support that results in sustainable self-sufficiency. The City has a long-standing relationship with LifeWorks recognizing its service as a fearless advocate with innovative problem solving.
For the full budget proposal, please visit https://www.speakupaustin.org/budget-2020.