What We’re Doing

First Footing

The first step to solving homelessness is giving people who need help somewhere safe to stay. The majority of the people we serve are longtime residents of New Braunfels, having lived here for ten years or more, who are now experiencing homelessness. They need a place to stay, but they need a whole lot more than that – they need to be connected to services that will help get them back on their feet.

We started the First Footing program over a year ago. This best practice hotel-based model serves adults on their journey out of homelessness and into a safe, stable home with mental and physical health care, employability skills training, budgeting education, and housing navigation.  Perhaps most importantly, First Footing connects people who are struggling with people who care. We initially learn about the person’s background and in the case of people who are new to New Braunfels, we explore whether they may be better served in the community they recently left. If so, we can help relocate them so they might benefit from those resources. For those staying overnight we provide 24-hour program supervision to ensure our participants and the community at large remain safe. Our program provides the social, behavioral and health support services needed to address factors impacting their homelessness and then work with participants to find a home they can sustain.

Let’s track the numbers

In our first year of services, (2/1/2021 to 1/31/2022), the program:

  • Served 242 unduplicated individuals who stayed an average of 45 nights or fewer.
  • Only 18% have lived in Comal County for less than 6 months
  • Average length of time our participants have lived in our community = 11 years
  • Through early 2022, we have helped 95 people find a home they can sustain, re-connect with family or friends for housing, or link to long-term treatment or other residential support.


That is 95 fewer friends and neighbors facing a night without a safe place to sleep.

First Footing’s Future

The agency has explored options for a long-term program operations location, which will ensure that more program resources can be funneled to direct program services and housing sustainability. To effectively provide services, consideration of any potential program site must be accessible to:

  • Employment opportunities
  • Physical and behavioral healthcare services
  • Supportive resources for specific needs or age groups, such as senior services or substance recovery support
  • Public housing or other affordable housing opportunities
  • Spiritual wellness support
  • Opportunities for wellness activities
  • Other community resources, such as non-profit agencies or churches


Additionally, sharing a location with other non-profit agencies will not only reduce overhead costs to maximize community resources, but will also greatly improve accessibility for vulnerable populations that are seeking help, such as individuals or families that are experiencing poverty and are either at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.

Crisis Housing and Support for Housing Recovery

Currently NB Housing Partners is leasing hotel space to assist individuals with their journey from homelessness to housing stability. Continuing to lease space long-term is not only less than ideal for our program participants, it is not sustainable long-term. Instead, we are seeking a permanent home to provide care and accountability for individuals who are on the road to housing.

At this time,the agency is open to potential sites, but no site has been finalized. Ideally, an appropriate location will provide space for wrap-around services, including mental health counseling, life skills education, substance recovery support, case management, housing navigation, and faith-based services and resources. NB Housing Partners already partners with many entities to provide this comprehensive care, so a location is needed that includes space for these partners; Salvation Army, Comal Mental Health, Acacia Medical, and Crisis Center of Comal County.

Key considerations for site location:

  • Access to employment by foot or bike
  • Opportunities for housing within proximity to the area
  • Safety for program participants and nearby neighborhoods
  • Building compliance with city/county codes, including sprinkler systems
  • Allow ample Adequate programming space of at least 25000 sf
  • Access to other community resources
  • Transitional Housing Options

    While space for transitional housing is still critical, NB Housing Partners is not currently pursuing 201 Loop 337 (currently the Howard Johnson Hotel) as a potential resource site.  Housing geared toward those who have graduated from First Footing and/or are working toward the income needed to maintain housing that fits their specific needs and income levels remains a top priority.

    For a rapidly growing community of our size, it is imperative we offer a full housing spectrum- from emergency shelter to transitional housing to long term housing- for all income levels. Right now, according to local real estate statistics, there are very few rental units in our community that are available for individuals who work full-time and earn less than $19 per hour ($40,000 a year) thus, many gainfully and fully employed workers cannot meet minimum income standards for rental units. Without a robust housing spectrum, we run the risk of an exponential growth in the numbers of community residents who can no longer cope with the rising cost of housing and struggle to maintain housing with assistance.

    We are committed to taking strategic steps to address both urgent housing crisis situations (First Footing) as well establishing long-term affordable housing options. See Fig. 1.

    One such solution being considered for development could be located at 201 Loop 337.  This site could provide housing for individuals who have left the streets and are gainfully employed but need time to build up their credit history, save money, access social security or disability assistance or who are waiting for an opening in low-income or subsidized housing rental units.  Additionally, the site could be ideal for individuals who are receiving a social security disability or retirement income that is below an amount to afford current, local housing market rates. Regardless of the individual reasons someone may need longer-term housing though our program this site could potentially provide stable housing for individuals who have been a part of our community, still have support systems in our community, but can no longer afford the cost of living in our community.

    As with our current temporary site and our possible use of 655 Landa Street, we are carefully planning to implement safety measures to protect those who seek our help as well as the general community. We hope that in the future, both these sites will welcome and support ALL of our neighbors in a community that offers a variety of needed resources that ultimately supports the health, safety, and vibrancy of our entire community.

    We understand people’s concerns and that neighbors have serious and legitimate questions about this project. We’re here to try to answer those questions. We have established an information line and email to field questions about the project. We will add a Frequently Asked Questions tab to this site and as soon we have that ready, we’ll share the that information.

    Please reach out to 830.606.9526 or admin@nbhousingpartners.org.

    We’re proud of this project. We want to save lives and make our community stronger. We can prevent homelessness – and we’re showing how.