Two Organizations Reducing Homelessness in the Heart of Houston
By Manuela Domingos
There’s a homeless man and his dog near my neighborhood that actively seeks change every day at the same street near our neighborhood grocery store. Each day, he’s there. Rain or shine, he’s posted up against a tree with a big smile on his face, his eyes twinkling as if the windows of his soul provide them with its own unique shine.
Recently, a couple of students in my cinema program conducted a documentary in which they highlighted the homeless population in the city of Houston.
According to information from the Houston Homeless Count in 2014, on a given night, there are approximately 5,351 homeless persons in the Houston area, 2,291 people living unsheltered, and 3,036 people living in sheltered facilities.
Although there has been a decrease in the homeless population in Houston since 2011, the numbers are still significant.
Fortunately, there are places that provide the proper care and recourses for those affected by this reality.
Star of Hope is a “Christ-centered” community whose mission is to help meet the needs of homeless children, women, and men in the Houston area. Its facility is focused on stimulating positive growth through structured programs that focuses on spiritual growth, employment, and education. It also aids in life management and recovery from substance abuse.
In the heart of Montrose, Houston, “The Cottage Shop” is a boutique that has been present since 1971. The store supports The Woman’s Home, a non-profit agency that helps homeless women rebuild their lives through empowerment and rehabilitation. The “The Cottage Shop” is a fun place to shop for residents, and generates about 13% of The Women’s Home’s operating income. To support less fortunate women and men, the store also accepts donations in form of accessories, shoes, and clothing.
Not too long ago, I visited the store after a friend of mine recommended it to me. I was able to find some very unique pieces to add to my closet, while being able to play a small role in a big cause.
I recommend anyone living in the Houston area to learn more about the services offered in our community, donate, and become an active participant in changing someone’s life.
One hand goes a long way and makes a difference.