Trinity Center grew from the concern of parishioners of St. David’s Episcopal Church for people experiencing homelessness and living in shelters or on the streets by the church. Trinity Center was founded by volunteers and is based on a model of action through volunteerism. Since its inception in 1999 Trinity Center has evolved from a Sunday-only ministry in borrowed space to a separately-incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in April 2000, that offers a variety of programs and activities for the homeless population throughout the week.
Trinity Center’s mission is to serve the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Austin, Texas. Trinity Center’s 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. We offer hospitality, compassion and companionship, financial assistance, support group for women, food, and a place of worship and spiritual renewal for those who have lost the comforts of home and the feelings of care and concern from others.
As a small organization, we are able to offer a personal, familiar touch as we work with our neighbors each day. We greet each other as neighbors instead of as providers and clients. We treat our neighbors with dignity and respect. In fact, we feel very proud of the manner in which our staff and volunteers “lead by acceptance,” resulting in neighbors who feel acknowledged and understood, have a sense of ownership of Trinity Center, and consider it their community center.
Trinity Center is the downtown leader among faith-based organizations serving our neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty. 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. We act as a safety net for the city’s homeless and poor residents, who often lack any other consistent support system. We accept the people that we serve at the exact stage in which they are, and though we definitely assist them in their journey toward securing residency, we also know that not all of them are able to do so and we offer our services without judgment, basically as their community center in downtown, enabling them to be in-doors, supported, accepted, assisted and safe.
We believe that only by addressing issues of body, mind, and spirit can we make a difference in our neighbors’ lives. As a faith-based organization, Trinity Center does not promote any particular religion but instead follows an inclusive, open-minded spirituality that is positive, life affirming, and respectful of the multitude of beliefs that our neighbors hold.