Home At Last

At Caritas of Austin, we know that building wellbeing begins with a safe place to call home. It lays a strong foundation for someone to regain stability and reach their full potential, but we also know it takes more than a roof and four walls to feel at home.

After the devastating experience of living on the streets, sleeping in shelters, or living out of a car, families and individuals often move into housing with little more than a single backpack of personal possessions. Can you imagine moving without any dishes, bath towels, or even a laundry basket? “When you move into an empty apartment, that alone can sometimes bring a lot of anxiety with it because of the worry of affording everything,” says Kaylin Rubin, Housing Stability Case Manager.

You can help make an Austin neighbor feel Home At Last by giving them a Welcome Home basket. Filled with the simple gift of household essentials, a Welcome Home basket is an incredible gift of support that not only helps someone with the expense of moving in, it also helps make a sparsely furnished apartment feel like a home. “We go to the lease signing with the client and that’s when we take their Welcome Basket to them,” says Rubin, “It helps them feel more like ‘this is my home,’ instead of ‘what do I do?’

A colorful shower curtain, a new set of soft sheets, and a set of cooking utensils are functional everyday essentials that help people restore their dignity and build wellbeing as they begin a new chapter of their life. This summer, we have several new programs and initiatives kicking off and plan to house dozens of neighbors in the coming weeks. With your support, we can ensure that each family we serve this year receives a Welcome Home basket. We’re setting a bold goal of getting 50 baskets donated in the next 50 days, but we cannot do it without you!

Ready to get started? Try this recipe for a warm welcome:

  • Laundry basket
  • Sheet set (Twin, Full, or Queen)
  • Bath towels (bath sheet, hand towel, and wash cloth)
  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes (serving for 4)
  • Utensils (serving for 4)
  • Cooking utensils
  • Shower curtain and hooks
  • Dish towels
  • Cleaning products

Here are a few additional tips for assembling your own Welcome Home basket to support Caritas clients:

  • Start with a laundry basket. Not only is this a household essential in itself – it can be used to hold all of the other items!
  • Shop the list. We have handpicked affordable basics that are the most needed essentials on move-in day. Check out our Amazon list.
  • Recruit your group! Getting a team together to assemble Welcome Home baskets at work, church, or club meetings is a great way to make a big impact together.

When someone walks through their front door for the first time, we want them to feel at home and prepared to move forward in their lives. Together with you, we can give the people we serve a strong new beginning on move-in day, so that they can reach their full potential in the long run. Will you give the gift of “Welcome Home” by donating a basket filled with household essentials? To schedule your donation drop off, call us at 512-646-1258.