AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two groups held a virtual forum on Tuesday to discuss ending the root causes of homelessness in Austin.

Integral Care and Caritas of Austin held the forum about homelessness and the overall connection to physical and mental health.

A panel of experts discussed the need for permanent supportive housing and collaborations between experts, advocates and community leaders that would create more housing in Travis County.

The forum also had members of the community who had stories to share about their experiences.

For Shirley, it began in 2015.

She said her significant other of 30 years passed away from cancer and Shirley ended up having to move out of their apartment afterward, instead of asking family members for help.

“I just couldn’t put the burden on my kids because I’m supposed to take care of them, not them take care of me. So I chose to live on the streets. And I experienced some really, really bad things,” Shirley shared at the forum.

Integral Care said it is important to provide housing alongside crucial services improving health and well-being.

To learn more about the panel or resources, visit Integral Care’s website.