SAN ANTONIO – The Ella Austin Community Center is located on the East Side, and is the first and only agency offering social services in the eastern area of the city.

  • Ella Austin was a revered African American, committed to serving her community
  • Died at the age of 46
  • In 1968, orphanage was converted and relocated to East Side

It began as Ella Austin Orphan’s Home in 1897.

Ella Austin, according to the center’s website, was a revered African American who was committed to serving her community. She opened the orphan’s home originally at 1920 Burnet.

She died at the age of 46, but her life’s work was taken up by community members.

In 1968, the children’s home was converted into a multi-purpose community center and relocated to what was once the Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School on Pine Street.

The center is one of Texas’ largest and also serves as a one-stop shop from early childhood development to senior services.

The community center offers affordable day care, parenting classes, youth and family services including after school and summer youth programs, assistance to individuals and families in crisis of food, clothing, and utilities assistance, senior nutrition, senior activities and volunteer income tax assistance programs.

Ella Austin's philanthropic ideals have helped serve Bexar County for over 100 years.