Donation News Organizations

Dell Foundation Pledges $38M for Austin Homeless

The Dell Foundation is helping to tackle homelessness in Austin, Texas with a $38 million pledge to help build micro-homes.

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, legacy of the founder of Dell Technologies and his wife, is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in poverty, tackling issues such as education, healthcare, and food and housing security. Worth nearly half a billion dollars in assets and investments, the Foundation spends between $30 and $40 million a year on community initiatives in the United States, India, and South Africa. Operating since 1999, it has given out over $1.2 billion in that time.

On Tuesday, the Foundation announced that they would be donating $38 million to help build homes in Austin for the housing-insecure. $36.6 million of that will got to Multiplying Goodness, a campaign to expand the existing Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Community First! Village of micro-homes.

“As Austin grows, it’s more important than ever that we care for those most vulnerable in our communities,” said Susan Dell, who serves as board chairperson of the foundation. “By coming together as a community, we can provide those experiencing homelessness in Central Texas with the dignity they deserve through stable housing and the opportunity to experience community again.”

Mobile Loaves and Fishes is a large development of RV parking and micro-homes, which hopes to expand in 2022 with 1,400 additional houses for people exiting chronic homelessness. The new donation moves their needle much farther towards its $150 million goal, joining a $35 million grant approved in September from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Currently, single-day counts place the number of unsheltered people in Austin – which is to say people who are not only housing-insecure but actually on the streets, at between 3,000 and 3,500. Unsheltered people usually account for between one-tenth and one-fifth of a city’s total homeless population, which means the true total is likely between 15,000 and 30,000.

Photo: INTREEGUE Photography / Shutterstock