What a year it has been for Casa Marianella. There have been highs and there have been lows for our community, but we have made it into 2019 with our heads held high and so much hope for the future of our nonprofit and the immigrants we serve. Without your support, we would not be where we are today – serving those in need since 1986.

In 2018, we served record numbers! In total, we served 425 residents (up from 342 in 2017). 77% of our residents, including infants, children and teens, came to Casa Marianella from immigration detention.  84% of residents were seeking or recently awarded asylum. Posada Esperanza increased the number of people they served by 22% from 2017, and we had 95% successful exits (people who have left Casa Marianella for self-sufficiency:  affordable housing and sufficient income). To put that number into perspective, it was roughly 78% 10 years ago – that is a big jump!

Our Top Highlights for 2018, Broken Down by Shelter:


Casa Marianella


# of Residents: 255

# of Exits: 221

% of successful exits: 95%

Countries w/ highest representation:

Eritrea: 85

DRC: 53

Cameroon: 17

Honduras: 17


Casa Salaam


# of Residents: 40

# of Exits: 25

% of successful exits: 100%

Countries w/ highest representation:

DRC: 32

Angola: 4


Posada Esperanza


# of Residents: 138

# of Exits: 105

% of successful exits: 93%

Countries w/ highest representation:

USA: 34 (American-born children of immigrant parents)

Guatemala: 19

Mexico: 18


More Highlights From 2018:


  • We are seeing an increase in youth coming to us at 18 years old when they age out of youth detention. Being able to come to Casa Marianella means these teenagers are not sent to adult detention.
  • 2018 brought a surge of families from the Democratic Republic of Congo; we’ve adjusted our shelters to house all sorts of family structures: separated families, families headed by two parents, one mom or one dad.
  • In the very beginning of 2018, we purchased a duplex that is our very first owned property to provide transitional housing for people who need a bridge from shelter to independent living.
  • A local contractor has been donating his time and skills to build a second house for Casa Salaam, which serves families with children, especially two parent families and families headed by single fathers who have no other housing options.  He also recruited many subcontractors to reduce their rates to make the construction affordable.
  • Casa Marianella started developing a national network to refer homeless immigrants-most just released from immigration detention-to shelters and other housing programs across the U.S. when Casa is at capacity and doesn’t have room for even one more person to sleep on the floor.  Thanks to our wonderful donors and grant funders, we are able to purchase bus, plane and train tickets, even when people don’t spend a single night at our shelters.

Grant Highlights from 2018

  • We were awarded a three year grant for $135,000 a year from the Episcopal Health Foundation to support our Benefits Clinic and case management. Our Benefits Clinic, which keeps expanding, is open to all Austin immigrants at no charge to make sure all members of our community can enroll in whatever health insurance and other benefits they are eligible for. Benefits staff members also help clients access healthcare through community clinics and nonprofits for medical care, mental health care, dental care and vision care.
  • The Austin Community Foundation awarded us a special grant in 2018 to help our immigration attorneys better identify and serve trafficking survivors.
  • The City of Austin awarded us a multi-year grant for Rapid Rehousing to help move people out of our shelters sooner and remain securely housed. We did not need the entire grant for our agency, so in true Casa Marianella fashion, we invited Refugee Services of Texas to partner with us in the grant application so we could share the funds among clients of both agencies.
  • We continue to partner with both AmeriCorps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), and this year added Young Adult Volunteer Program – Presbyterian Church (USA).  These programs bring us fabulous young adults who devote a year of their lives to serving our residents for a very small stipend.  Casa Marianella is proud to have co-founded the Austin JVC program in 2011 with partner Catholic Charities of Central Texas to benefit several local agencies.
  • We continue to receive support from the Religious Coalition to Assist the Homeless, an innovate program whereby houses of worship agree to divert the drainage fee on their water bills to a fund that is distributed to local homeless shelters to support beds and supportive services for homeless women, men and children.

We are humbled and honored by all the support and love we have continuously received – making 2018 one for the books. We look forward to sharing with you what 2019 brings!