Jo Kathryn Quinn

2019 JKQ head shot
  • What does your organization do?

    Caritas of Austin’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness. Caritas achieves this mission by providing supportive housing and services to people experiencing literal homelessness. Both housing and services are tailor-made to meet each household’s unique needs, and in partnership with each client.
  • How did you become interested in this work?

    I have been passionate about ending homelessness since I was 20 years old and saw, for the first time, a person sleeping on the streets in New York City.
  • What drives your passion?

    The privilege of affirming the dignity and humanity of each person who is experiencing homelessness.
  • Do you have a mentor or a role model?

    My grandmother Josephine Clinton Roan. A single mother during the depression, she was a community servant who worked as hard at not being recognized as she did serving others. Always humble, confident and persistent. She persisted in a much more sexist era and long before Elizabeth Warren. Mamma Jo inspired me to pursue this career. I am honored to have a piece of her name.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?

    My biggest challenge is garnering the level of resources needed to scale our services relative to the community need.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?

    Don’t take yourself so seriously….seriously!
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?

    Don’t take yourself so seriously…seriously!
    Always remember your board of directors is your inner circle – keep them there.
    Work-Life balance always! Less is more.