In October 2018, the HAL Finance Team formed H.O.L.A! (Helping Others Live Affordably) and quickly formed a relationship with Blackshear Bridge, an emerging non-profit organization focused on AISD's historic, central east Austin Blackshear Elementary School and the Blackshear-Prospect Hill Neighborhood surrounding it. After gathering data and researching the systemic and institutional barriers that community members contend with, in November 2018 H.O.L.A! entered an agreement to collaborate with Blackshear Bridge in their efforts to address financial, educational, and cultural sustainability in the neighborhood.
Data from the Community Health Assessment for Austin/Travis County (2017) indicates that income in Travis County is inequitably distributed between households by race and ethnicity. One of the communities in Travis County impacted by these disparities is the Blackshear-Prospect Hill Community, located east of I-35 and south of Martin Luther King Blvd. In addition to income inequities, the Blackshear Community also faces challenges of advanced gentrification and educational vulnerability. Organizing in solidarity, entities such as Blackshear Bridge, Huston-Tillotson University, and other neighborhood associations intend to address these disparities. H.O.L.A! is designed to specifically provide support to these efforts as identified through quantitative and qualitative data and research.