Thousands of youth:
...diverted from prisons, jails, and institutions
...immigrant children reunified with their families
...children provided with safe 24/7 shelter and therapeutic services
...youth prevented from dropping out of school
...adults empowered to provide for their families


Southwest Key Programs is a national nonprofit organization providing transformative education, innovative safe shelters and alternatives to incarceration for over 200,000 youth and their families annually, while creating opportunities for their families to become self-sufficient. The inspiring youth and parents we work with are seeking the American dream: equality, education, and a higher quality of life. At Southwest Key, we simply open the doors to opportunity so they can achieve these dreams.

Southwest Key Programs ranks 4th among the Top Hispanic Nonprofits in America, employing a creative and diverse staff of over 2,200 employees. Because of Southwest Key's work, thousands of youth have been diverted from prisons, jails, and institutions, enabling them to stay at home with their families and out of trouble. Southwest Key has reunified thousands of immigrant children with their families and provided these unaccompanied minors with 24-hour care and education. Southwest Key is one of only three nonprofits in Austin to be accredited by the Council on Accreditation, the nation's leading human service accrediting body.

From the start, a cornerstone of all of our programs has been culturally-relevant education. Since 1999 we have refined our model by operating leading alternative schools throughout Texas, preventing hundreds of youth from dropping out of school by providing them with individualized education in a therapeutic setting. In 2009, East Austin College Prep opened at Southwest Key's El Centro de Familia campus.

Just as we help our families to become self-sufficient, Southwest Key is taking innovative steps toward greater self-sufficiency itself. We operate a number of small, social enterprise businesses including: Cafe del Sol, The Blooming Florist, Southwest Key Green Energy & Construction, Southwest Key Maintenance, and Southwest Key Workforce Development. These social enterprises serve a double bottom line creating jobs for low income residents while bringing in funds to support the nonprofit mission. Our Social Enterprise Complex, creating over 100 jobs and housing these and other workforce development initiatives, was the first of its kind in the country when construction was completed at our East Austin Headquarters in 2011.

Southwest Key's national headquarters is located at El Centro de Familia in Austin, Texas. Southwest Key completed construction on the $8 million facility and launched the East Austin Children's Promise initiative in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in 2007 to increase the educational attainment and employability of residents, leading to higher paid employees, increased tax revenues, and civic and economic engagement of residents. El Centro de Familia is home to a Boys & Girls Club, GED and ESL classes, the AMD Community Technology Center, an outdoor amphitheater and Latino arts program, and a variety of educational programs and recreational facilities.

Southwest Key founder and current CEO, Dr. Juan Sanchez, is proud to have built one of the most diverse nonprofits in the country, where over 90 percent of Southwest Key's employees, including most top managers and board members, represent the cultural diversity of the youth we serve.

Fast Facts about Southwest Key

  • Founded: 1987
  • Legal Status: Nonprofit, charitable 501(c)(3) Social Service, Education and Community Development Organization
  • Staff: Over 2,200 nationwide
  • Programs: Southwest Key operates 68 programs including juvenile justice and family programs, safe shelters for immigrant children, schools, and community-building initiatives
  • Number Served: Over 200,000 kids and their families in FY 2013
  • Headquarters: Austin, Texas
  • Locations: Texas, California, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin
  • FY 20013-14 Budget: $150 million
  • Funding: Grants and contracts by U.S. federal, state, and local government, foundations, and corporations; special events; private contributions
  • Social Enterprises: Southwest Key Enterprises, Southwest Key Cafe del Sol, Southwest Key Maintenance, Southwest Key Green Energy & Construction, Southwest Key Workforce Development, The Blooming Florist, Southwest Key Youth, Family, & Transportation LLC
Headquarters Group Photo