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Published on Thursday, May 16, 2019

Change the Way We Give Campaign to Provide Meaningful Help to Homeless and At-Risk Individuals

CONTACT: Roland Martinez, (210) 207-5920                                                 
Carlos Valenzuela, (210) 207-3919
Alina Kesl, (210) 207-2882


SAN ANTONIO (May 16, 2019) – The City of San Antonio Department of Human Services (DHS) and the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH) have launched a text-to-give campaign to provide a meaningful way for residents to compassionately give to organizations serving people at risk of becoming or experiencing homelessness in lieu of donating to people directly on the streets. To participate, residents can donate by texting “SAGIVES” to 41444.


“By making it easier for a resident to give, we can create meaningful change to help address homelessness in our community. This pilot program in District 8 addresses panhandling issues, while providing compassionate support to the community,” District 8 City Councilman Manny Peláez said.


The campaign – “Change the Way We Give!” – is a citywide initiative which will be piloted first in City Council District 8 near intersections with high rates of panhandling. The funds collected through the campaign will be sent directly to the Homelessness Continuum of Care Lead Agency, the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), to be distributed equitably to agencies serving people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.


“The ‘Change the Way We Give’ campaign will support initiatives that address the underlying issues of homelessness and hunger in San Antonio,” Human Services Director Melody Woosley said. “The campaign directs generosity toward effective and efficient programs so that organizations and agencies can provide more help across our community.”


This initiative will be executed through an online mobile giving application called MobileCause, where donors can be assured they are giving directly to Homeless Service Providers addressing priority areas that fill gaps in the San Antonio’s homeless response system.


Brenda Mascorro, SARAH Executive Director, said, “San Antonio is an incredibly giving community. We’re excited to see that generosity directed to our incredible homeless service providers and to sustainable solutions for addressing homelessness.”


Identified funding priorities include:


1.     Homelessness Prevention Assistance - Rental Assistance, Utility Assistance (including late fees), Housing Application Fees, Moving Costs


2.     Rapid Resolution and Homeless Shelter Diversion - Rental Arrears, Moving Costs, Legal Services, Mediation


3.     Outreach Engagement Efforts - Transportation, ID Recovery, Mental Health Services, medication costs, outreach supplies