In response to the immediate need for affordable housing, McKenna began conversations with community stakeholders in 2012. This influence led to the establishment of the first local non-profit dedicated to addressing the area’s growing housing crisis – NB Housing Partners.
NB Housing Partners is a team of professionals and community volunteers closely connected to local housing issues. A plan to develop the community’s first resource for direct service to families with minor children who are homeless grew out of first-hand business and community knowledge and experience.
Local non-profit agencies, who have established success in helping families toward independent living, are working with the NB Housing Partners Board of Directors to develop programs and partnerships to best fit the community’s needs:
- New Braunfels Food Bank
- Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels
- SJRC Texas (Formerly St. Jude’s Ranch for Children)
- Connections Individual and Family Services
- Crisis Center of Comal County
- Communities in Schools of South Central Texas
- Any Baby Can
Over time, the McKenna Foundation has supported multiple local projects related to housing and homelessness, including:
- Land bank funding for Comal County Habitat for Humanity
- Operational seed funding for Family Promise and support of the construction of their Day Center
- Homelessness prevention funding for the Salvation Army and Family Life Center
- Building renovation for the Crisis Center shelter for homeless women and children
- Winter Shelter pilot program funding through Connections Individual and Family Services
- Purchase of property on FM 725 that is home to the New Braunfels Food Bank and future home of the Apple Seeds Apartments
The Apple Seeds Apartments are expected to break-ground in 2022; this housing will serve as a bridge to housing independence for families with minor children. These families will have already exhibited determination through successful completion of life skill programs with local partner non-profits. The families will be ready to live on their own but high local market rents, the low number of affordable units, and unattainable rental transaction costs put them at risk of falling back into the situations that drove them to seek emergency assistance in the first place.