Haven for Hope‘s mission of “offering a place of hope and new beginnings” has a deeper meaning for Outreach Manager Ron Brown. The pastor and single father of three young girls has experienced the desperate reality of homelessness and solitude firsthand and has, therefore, made preventing and alleviating the debilitating social issue his profession and his passion.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed: Brown was recently nominated as “Texan of the Year,” an award DallasNews.com, the Dallas Morning News‘ online outlet, doles out annually to Texans dedicated to resolving controversial social issues. Readers nominated individuals they considered worthy – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ETP CEO Kelcy Warren, and Rivard Report contributor and immunization advocate Anna Dragsbaek, among others, made this year’s cut.

Brown’s efforts to transform the lives of San Antonio’s homeless population by building trust and working closely with the San Antonio Police Department is, indeed, deserving of the nomination and, perhaps, the award. He encourages homeless individuals to utilize Haven’s Transformational Campus, which opened in 2010, serves as a shelter and rehabilitation center, and offers a transitional housing program. Due in part to Brown’s constant outreach during his eight-year tenure with Haven, more than 2,600 individuals have transitioned to permanent housing.

“We’re dealing with a part of the culture thats been hurt real bad, not just by the organization per se, but (by) society, their families, their friends,” Brown said in an interview with the Rivard Report. “It’s a slow, slow process, (building) trust and winning over individuals and them having trust in you to help them get to where they need to be.”

More than 80 noteworthy Texans from all walks of life were nominated by their fellow statesmen and women for this year’s honors. Dallas News staff will choose a winner in late December.

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Hanna Oberhofer

Before moving to San Antonio in 2004, Hanna was a competitive rhythmic gymnast in her native Austria. She earned degrees from St. Mary’s University and the Texas State Graduate College before joining...

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Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone is a California native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to San Antonio in December 2015 to join The Rivard Report team as photographer and videographer.