Inspired By Grace
Eliza Grace & Patrice Pike
Eliza Grace was the first recipient of the Step Onward Foundation.
“I was told years ago that all you need is a handful of hope, and the Step Onward Foundation is that handful of hope.” – Eliza Grace
Patrice Pike here. In my life as a traveling musician, I happened to meet Eliza Grace. It seems like several lifetimes ago, and humbly, I can tell you that I didn’t know what was coming when I met her, but it changed my life forever and subsequently and exponentially the lives of many others. Her story was one of homelessness and so much more. Her story connected deeply for me with my own lived experience in acute housing insecurity, poverty, classism, and the emotional stress and despair that haunts children and their struggling families. Out of Grace’s willingness to come out and name what she had gone through, came the inspiration and a mission to help others with similar experiences. Hence the Grace Foundation was formed. Today, now known as Step Onward Foundation, we have helped many young adults move onward out of housing insecurity and chronic homelessness, to become the thriving survivors they are today.
Patrice Pike, Founder & Musician
More than lacking shelter…
Through our work, we have come to understand that “homelessness” is complex. It is not simply a lack of shelter. Many people experience varying degrees of homelessness and housing insecurity throughout their lives. Having a safe place to call home is such a basic human need that when it is threatened, people often experience traumatic stress, and with it, mental and physical health issues and challenges affecting employment, among other adversities. It is easy to see how a vicious cycle is created under these conditions.
Health and Wellness
Why Step Onward?
The Step Onward Foundation was established in 2004 as The Grace Foundation Texas in partnership with Austin Community Foundation. Through a dedicated board, trusting partnerships, and active volunteers, we are a foundation that continually aids young adults and families in need. Thanks to the generous support of our growing body of individual and corporate donors, we are steadily scaling our impact in the Texas communities we serve, which currently include Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
We are an efficiently run organization that strives for low operational costs so that every dollar possible can be given to aid our young survivors.
Current Teacher and High School Football Coach
“Because Step Onward stepped up, I was able to focus on my dreams, my goals and my aspirations. I think growing up in a homeless shelter taught me to be so eager to get to the next step, and as long as I did, I was ok, but I was not eager for my dreams or excited to achieve my personal goals. Step Onward personally took a lot of stress off of me by providing books for me, providing funding for school, making sure I had a meal plan and housing…Today, I started an organization that feeds 150 kids a week, provides back to school bashes, and turkeys on thanksgiving. It’s because Step Onward took those stresses, that I am able to do things for the community and for the world.”
2020-2023 Title Sponsor and Donor
Keller Williams has been a proud Title Sponsor for Step Onward Foundation for three years in a row. The Executive Assistant to the Chairman shared “They are honored to support such a great cause.”
Texas Children’s Hospital
2006 – Current Partner
“Step Onward has been a huge help to our families because they immediately seek to help the families that are referred to them. Step Onward is not only a resource, but also a partner to us at Texas Children’s Hospital.”
Our Awardee Community
Diverse, Unique, and Deserving
The young adults we serve are a diverse group of individuals with unique circumstances. One thing they share is their proven readiness to take the next step onward in their independence through our services and funding.
Each of our awardees comes highly recommended through one of our partner organizations, schools, social workers, and outreach efforts. We provide tailored supports for them as they work to acquire the education and experience they need to attain the independence they are seeking to achieve.
Our Referring Partner Organizations
Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or are accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness. Learn more at NCSL
PO BOX 160455
Austin, TX, 78716 United States
- Kicking off the 2023 Annual Concert GalaAugust 3, 2022 - 6:56 am
- Home Made Happiness Online Silent Auction is Live!March 22, 2023 - 12:17 pm
- SOF Board on Leadership in Education, Mentorship, Fundraising, & Government Service.July 24, 2022 - 6:59 pm
- Step Onward “Home Made Happiness” Concert Gala is a Glowing SuccessFebruary 10, 2022 - 2:11 pm