Cold, with No Place to Go? NB Housing Partners Offers Shelter, Support for Comal Residents

Volunteers brought and served warm food at NB Housing Partner’s First Footing shelter at the Edelweiss Inn over the Christmas holiday. Facebook image.
Volunteers brought and served warm food at NB Housing Partner’s First Footing shelter at the Edelweiss Inn over the Christmas holiday. Facebook image.

There’s a warm place waiting for Canyon Lake and other Comal County residents who need shelter on cold winter nights when the temperature dips below 45 degrees.

Those seeking emergency shelter can show up anytime at Room 220 (used as an office) at Edelweiss Inn, 1063 N. IH 35, in New Braunfels. For more information call 830-327-5292. Normal hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The service is sponsored by NB Housing Partners, whose First Footing program leases local motel space to provide services to community members at risk for or experiencing homelessness.

The nonprofit offers 24-hour staff coverage, with case management and support services typically offered between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.

First Footing serves an average of 30 individuals a day. The demand increases to nearly 50 individuals on cold weather nights.

Between February 2021 and November 2022, NB Housing Partners served 409 individuals and provided 19,599 nights of shelter. Staff also referred 150 people to other resources.

Executive Director Kellie Stallings said the organization is made up of people from the New Braunfels area who want the city to be a place where every family and individual can count on something most take for granted — a bed.

Programs are funded by charitable donations from residents, businesses and other civic groups around the area.

“What people experiencing homelessness all have in common is they are struggling with their current circumstances and need a hand up, not a handout,” she said. “We want to see the positive outcomes continue to grow. We know that crisis housing and support services are only one part of the solution and that long-term housing is the key we are committed to both.”

In addition to providing a safe place to stay and 24-hour staff coverage, First Footing offers support services such as identification document recovery, establishing employment, and reestablishing benefit income such as retirement, disability, or food assistance. These services significantly increase the likelihood of individuals establishing long-term housing.

The program also partners with Acacia Medical Mission for physical healthcare services and Hill Country MHDD for behavioral health services.

First Footing focuses primarily on serving single men and couples, referring youth to Connections Individual and Family Services, and, whenever possible, directing single women and families to the Crisis Center of Comal County and Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels.

NB Housing Partners will soon enter the next phase by entering into a 25-year agreement with the City of New Braunfels to lease the former fire station at 4120 Loop 337 as a permanent facility.

Plans call for NB Housing Partners to invest significant funds in building and property improvements at the site to provide a crisis housing-and-outreach center.

The facility will include a comprehensive intake process that helps connect individuals to community resources and housing opportunities; provides case management for basic needs like meals, medical care, behavioral healthcare, budgeting, employment/job assistance, benefit application assistance, housing navigation and planning; and a provides congregate crisis housing (shelter) and transitional housing rooms.

For more information email admin@nbhousingpartners.org or call 830-606-9526.

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