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On a Mission: Austin philanthropist turns passion for helping the homeless into nonprofit

Ebonie Trice
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Ebonie Trice is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Mission Accomplished.

Last summer, Austin’s population surpassed the 2 million mark, according to the U.S. Census. With the surge in growth comes a higher demand for nonprofits and charities that work to improve the quality of life for those who are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Mission Accomplished is one of several fledgling nonprofits that are striving to meet the city’s demand for assisting its burgeoning homeless population. Since the newly-minted nonprofit was established in 2014, it has been operating as a resource center, providing a range of services for the homeless.

“Our primary purpose is to connect people with resources, and support partnerships among resources,” says Ebonie Trice, chief executive officer and founder of Mission Accomplished.

To make a sizable impact on the city’s homeless community, Trice knows she cannot work alone. In a number of projects, she has collaborated with the public, other organizations and private agencies. Last fall, her nonprofit worked with several philanthropic organizations and AISD schools to provide more than 100 Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless and victims of the 2015 Onion Creek flood.

Mission Accomplished has also partnered with Coinless Laundry in North Austin to launder clothes for the homeless twice a month. Revolving teams of 20 volunteers participate in Operation Clean Clothes, in which they transport clothes from homeless camps to the laundromat. In the future, Trice aims to broaden this service to veterans, substance abuse recoverees and senior citizens.

As the nonprofit expands, new challenges lie ahead. However, Trice has already jumped over the biggest hurdle: Starting a nonprofit. This is not an easy task for those who are new to the grant-writing profession. She’s thankful for the wealth of resources that the Regional Foundation Library (RFL) provides to philanthropists like herself who aspire to turn their passions into a nonprofit.

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Mission Accomplished Founder and Director Ebonie Trice (left) searches for grant opportunities with Regional Foundation Library Director Ellen Moutos-Lee.

A unit within the DDCE, the RFL offers a wealth of print and online resources including books, periodicals and databases. While visiting the library, located in the Community Engagement Center, Trice researched fund development, grants, and more.

Though the process can be overwhelming, she wasn’t in it alone. The library’s staff members were there to help every step of the way—from seeking crowd-funding resources, to finding mentors in Austin’s nonprofit sector. RFL Director Ellen Moutos-Lee helped her pinpoint funding opportunities with the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation and Austin-based Glimmer of Hope Foundation.

“Ellen has always been there for me,” Trice adds. “That’s just exactly what Mission Accomplished wants to do and be.”

Visit this website to learn how to get involved.

Portrait by Bret Brookshire