FORMER FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH AND BARBARA BUSH TO SPEAK AT AUSTIN STREET CENTER’S
22ND ANNUAL ‘HUMBLE BEGINNINGS LUNCHEON’
The nonprofit will Honor Mayor Eric Johnson and Philanthropist Carolyn Lacy Miller at its marquee event
DALLAS – August 25, 2022 – On Friday, October 14 at the Hilton Anatole at 11:30 a.m., Austin Street Center will host former First Lady Laura Bush and Barbara Bush for a conversation about their life of service for its 22nd annual Humble Beginnings Luncheon. The event will help to raise funds and awareness for the crucial role Austin Street Center brings to the city, providing safe shelter and basic needs to Dallas’ most vulnerable population experiencing homelessness. This year’s Luncheon will celebrate two members of the community for their ongoing commitment to the issue of homelessness, bestowing Mayor Eric Johnson with its Public Service Award and presenting Carolyn Lacy Miller with this year’s Norm Hitzges Distinguished Award.
“Austin Street is honored to host one of Dallas’ own to discuss one of Dallas’ most pressing issues,” Daniel Roby, Chief Executive Officer of Austin Street Center, said.
Mrs. Bush is a leading voice for spreading freedom and promoting human rights across the globe; she pursues her work on global healthcare innovations, and empowering women in emerging democracies through the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. Barbara Bush is co-founder and Board Chair of Global Health Corps, an organization that mobilizes young leaders to solve the world’s most pressing health issues. The conversation with the mother-daughter duo will be moderated by Ambassador Jeanne Phillips, Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement and International Relations for Hunt Consolidated, Inc. and long-time champion of Austin Street Center.
“Our city needs Austin Street Center right now,” said Roby. “Across Dallas we continue to see the unsheltered population rise at alarming rates and we must do something to stem this growth. We work vigorously with our partners and city leaders to rally around this cause, which is important to all of us, with a solution-oriented mindset. More than a meal and a bed, we provide wrap-around services to help transition clients out of shelter and into a sustainable home of their own. We love it when a client ‘rings the bell’ and walks out of our doors set up for a successful, stable future.”
Founded in 1983, Austin Street Center, which recently unveiled a new facility to further its mission, is one of Dallas’ largest emergency shelters. In 2021 alone, Austin Street Center served nearly 1,500 clients, resulting in 350 clients housed, and more than 400 job placements.
Co-chairing the organization’s time-honored event are Mr. Jay McAuley and Mr. Frank Mihalopoulos. “Austin Street Center’s approach to serving the most vulnerable homeless is vital to our community,” McAuley said. “The dignity that’s encompassed in the mission is a differentiator here. The staff cares for the whole individual through a comprehensive program that includes access to health care, housing coordination and stabilization services, education and employment services, transportation, and beyond.”
As homelessness in Dallas continues to grow at a rapid rate, the organization recently expanded its operations to meet critical needs through a new 60,000-square-foot, 24/7, client-focused homeless shelter and day service center. The new facility will allow the nonprofit to address the needs of more homeless individuals, providing them with a dignified and individualized service model.
“Austin Street Center has long been a nonprofit my family supports, dedicating our time and resources towards its mission,” Mihalopoulos shared. “It’s a great honor to serve as the event’s Co-Chair this year and I’m inspired how the staff and volunteers all embody the mission in every aspect.”
Mayor Eric Johnson will receive the organization’s first Public Service Award for his intentional leadership and engagement on the issue of homelessness. Carolyn Lacy Miller will be honored with the Norm Hitzges Distinguished Award for her lifelong service to people of Austin Street as well as her commitment to its Sisterhood program.
Major disruptions to homeless services and street outreach during the pandemic meant less engagement with people living unsheltered and less opportunity for individuals to access pathways to housing. Chronic homelessness is on the rise both locally and nationally, having more than doubled in the past two years in Dallas. Fundraising events such as the Humble Beginnings Luncheon are critical to ensure Austin Street has the funds necessary to continue its mission to find each person it serves a place to call home.
For event sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more, visit https://austinstreet.org/event/humble-beginnings-luncheon/.
ABOUT AUSTIN STREET CENTER
For 39 years, Austin Street Center has worked tirelessly to bring an end to homelessness in North Texas. Austin Street provides basic needs and essential support services such as onsite education and employment services, individualized case management, a medical respite program, and access to permanent housing. Austin Street serves two highly vulnerable populations – men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 18, many of whom also suffer from addiction, victimization, or the unexpected loss of resources. Austin Street’s mission is to provide safe shelter while meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless. Our goal is that every homeless person who comes to Austin Street Center finds hope, support, and the resources they need to transition out of homelessness.