Austin Street Center understands that beyond their basic needs, our guests are often deeply in need of spiritual support and guidance.
Through the generosity of two of our steadfast donors, Austin Street now has a full-time chaplain to meet the needs of our guests who seek spiritual refuge.. Felecia Burns is an ordained AME minister who previously volunteered to lead services in the Austin Street chapel.
Felecia became more aware of the difficulties in fighting homelessness last year when she was profiled by Verify on WFAA. She wanted to understand why there was a homeless encampment near her home. This question led her to the camp to talk to the folks living there and to City Hall to meet with her councilperson,, for insight on just how big and pervasive the problem is.
“I was able to see what this population had to deal with on a daily basis,” Felecia recalls.“I felt like God wanted me to be able to go deeper.”
Now, Felecia’s days are filled with offering hope, organizing prayer and Bible study meetings, and managing the volunteers who provide chapel services each week. She also encourages guests to lead songs, prayers, or share testimonies.
Her role as chaplain is to encourage and remind our guests that they are deeply loved by a God who knows them.
“One of the biggest problems facing people experiencing homelessness is a lack of community, a lack of deep relationships. If I can help facilitate people growing in their faith together, that’s a major step in helping restore what has been lost to the streets,” says Felecia.
In a recent prayer service held in our chapel, Felecia reminded the congregation, “in heaven there is no homelessness, in heaven there is no poverty, and in heaven there is no suffering.” A vision we can all support.
Watch Felecia’s journey to understanding the homeless problem.