Last week’s historic winter storm was devastating for Texas communities who are still facing major challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through it all, youth-serving organizations have truly stepped up to connect youth and young adults with critical needs such as shelter, food, and drinkable water.
We’ve heard countless stories of how youth-serving providers went to great lengths to keep youth safe last week. Member organizations that lost power quickly took action to house youth at different locations or in hotels, and some dedicated staff housed youth in their own homes despite the pandemic. Organizations also described how they quickly expanded services to meet a growing demand amid power and water outages. Now, many organizations are facing the financial blow from this crisis, such as damage to their facilities, burst pipes, and other water infrastructure damage, the cost incurred to supply extra food, drinkable water, and clothes, and the cost to quickly re-house youth to keep them safe.
How You Can Help
TNOYS is calling for those in our communities to step up if they are able to and support organizations doing critical work. You can help by making a donation to one of these incredible organizations through TNOYS’ Winter Storm Relief Fund. Learn more and contribute on TNOYS’ Donation Page.
Below, we’ve compiled member organizations that are in need of support as they recover and continue to provide critical services. Learn how you can make a direct contribution to these organizations below.
ACH Child and Family Services brings needed resources and skills development to children and families. ACH’s Wedgwood Residential Campus in Southwest Fort Worth suffered water damage and had to close temporarily. With the help of their support staff, they were able to relocate children to the other safe and dry places on campus. Donations to support the children and families that rely on their services 24/7. Support them here.
Central Texas Table of Grace provides emergency shelter services to children and youth in the foster care system. The organization evacuated 13 children into three different homes. Two were the homes of staff members while the other was a fully furnished apartment in their Supervised Independent Living Program. You can provide support by supplying them with items from their Amazon wishlist here.
Central Texas Youth Services provides services to youth who have run away from home, those experiencing homelessness, and their families. In response to the storm, Central Texas Youth Services provided their clients with resources to find warming shelters and transportation to warming shelters. You can support their efforts through their Amazon wishlist here.
City House empowers & transforms the lives of children, youth & young adults suffering from abuse, neglect or homelessness. This organization saw overwhelming need during the freezing storm and provided many in the community with food, shelter, and transportation. City House accepts donations here, and you may also purchase items from their Amazon wish list.
CIS Coastal Bend surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS Coastal Bend stepped up to support students and families following the recent severe weather. Their team disseminated over 1,400 snack packs to students and families thanks to a collaboration with a local food bank. You can help support this organization here.
Connections Individual and Family Services provides a safe and secure alternative to the “streets” for youth experiencing homelessness or those in at-risk situations. During the storm, pipes burst at their TLP and North Shelters and they were without water. In response to the crisis, Connections purchased hotel rooms for youth and staff and provided hazard pay for staff. Learn more and donate to Connections here.
Greater San Marcos Youth Council’s services include counseling and prevention services, child abuse prevention education, and a children’s shelter. Their team moved 14 youth to a hotel because of continuous power outages. Through it all GSMYC staff went above and beyond and were paid overtime for their work. Support GSMYC with a contribution here.
Harris County Resources for Children and Adults (HC Resources) provides services to ensure the safety of children, strengthen families, and divert youth from the juvenile justice system. Thanks to the dedication and cooperation of their staff, HC Resources maintained operations of two, 24-hour, essential programs to serve youth and families throughout the storm. Their Kinder Emergency Shelter cared for 11 youth, and shelter staff volunteered to sleep over so that they could assist those who had worked the night shifts. Staff at HC Resource’s TRIAD Intake Division also provided care for two runaway teens from the Dallas area whose parents were unable to travel during the event. Staff also went above and beyond to keep youth safe by providing COVID-19 screening for first responders and children entering the YSC building, and by fielding calls from DFPS staff and officers seeking coordination and direction about abused children or minors without supervision. Show your support for HC Resources’ work by donating here.
Houston ReVision: works to break the cycle of isolation among the most profoundly disconnected youth, most of whom are caught up in the juvenile justice system. ReVision aided their community by arranging drop-off and pick-up services to serve youth and their families throughout the severe weather, among other services. You can provide your support here.
Jonathan’s Place provides a safe place, loving homes, and promising futures for children, teens, and young adults who have experienced abuse and neglect. They had a burst pipe and power outages at their facility but were able to relocate young people to nearby Promise House. You can support them by purchasing an item from their Amazon wishlist here.
Lena Pope Home offers an array of services for children, youth, and young adults that focus on emotional, behavioral, and intellectual well-being. Lena Pope was unable to provide services during the week of the storm. Additionally, their buildings lost power and they sustained water damage due to ruptured pipes. Donate here to assist Lena Pope Home.
LifeWorks advocates for youth and families seeking their path to self-sufficiency. Their housing and street outreach team worked tirelessly to ensure that young people were provided a safe and warm place along with a hot meal. They have gone above and beyond to help young people in Austin, but they need donations to continue their efforts. Consider donating here.
Montrose Center provides services for both LGBTQ+ seniors and youth, and they are ensuring that senior residents at Law Harrington Senior Living Center are taken care of amidst several burst pipes and flooding. They are in need of donations for this community to make sure they get what they need and replace what they’ve lost. Donate here.
Our Friend’s Place helps young women break generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness through our Transitional Living Center (TLC) program and their SOAR to Success prevention program. OFP experienced burst pipes and flooding at their facilities. They are still in need of ongoing support to continue providing their Transitional Living Center (TLC) program with as little disruption as possible. Donate here.
Promise House provides residential services, outreach, and trauma-informed care for youth experiencing homelessness. Their operations were uninterrupted, and they were able to shelter 17 additional children from partner agency Jonathan’s Place. They did however experience damage to their facilities including a burst pipe, water damage, and damage to a heater. Promise House has launched a Winter Storm Recovery Fund to help them recover for almost $40,000 in damages. Donate here.
Roy Maas Youth Alternatives is committed to caring for children and families in crisis. RMYA Burdick Community Center and three of their classrooms were flooded due to burst pipes. They also suffered from spoiled food, damaged school equipment and supplies, along with losing school and living room furniture due to burst pipes and damaged water heaters. Donate here.
SAFE Alliance, an organization that provides services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and trafficking, sustained damage from burst pipes to two cottages at their children’s shelter. Learn more about the storm’s impact on SAFE Alliance in this news report from KVUE. Donate to assist SAFE Alliance here.
THRU Project helps foster youth overcome the challenges of growing up in the foster care system by providing guidance, support and advocacy in order to prepare them for life after foster care. Volunteer mentors have been dealing with the winter crisis themselves while keeping in touch with their mentees to ensure they’re ok. Most of their youth live in apartments and were severely affected by power and water outages. THRU Project responded by delivering emergency gift cards to help with groceries, and donations from the community can help them continue their work. Donate Here.
Tony’s Place is a drop-in center focusing on LGBTQ+ youth up to 25 years of age who are unstably housed, couch surfing or experiencing homelessness. Young people who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing were greatly impacted by the disaster. Tony’s Place is in need of items to best serve LGBTQ+ youth in Houston who are unstably housed to help them recover. Check out their Facebook page for more information here.
STARRY nurtures children, strengthens families, and restores hope through counseling, family support services, foster care, fatherhood, and adoption. Their Round Rock office had to close due to the storm damage and you can donate to make-up for their lost funds here.
TNOYS will update this list as we hear more from our member and partner organizations across Texas. If you are a member organization that would like us to share a request for help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support!