Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ekdrm2d1

Covenant House Texas Expansion

Recommended Posts

Covenant House Texas expanding services

https://www.tmc.edu/news/2019/08/covenant-house-texas-expanding-services/

 

Quote

The organization has launched a capital campaign—Building for Life, Homelessness to Hope—that aims to raise about $25 million over the next three to five years, Executive Director Leslie Bourne said.

 

In July, Covenant House Texas purchased an office building across the street, on Lovett Boulevard. The structure will be a key component of a campus reconstruction and expansion project.

 

To bring attention to this daily crisis, Texas Medical Center President and CEO William “Bill” McKeon will oversee Covenant House Texas’ largest annual fundraiser on Nov. 21. As honorary chair of the 2019 Sleep Out: Executive Edition, McKeon hopes to raise $1 million by seeking the commitment of Houston business leaders—many of whom will spend the night outside to more closely connect with the reality of homelessness.

 

“We’re here to draw awareness to some- thing we drive by every day and don’t see,” McKeon said during a spring luncheon with young adults on campus, noting that youth aren’t top-of-mind for many people who think about or encounter the homeless.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:

 

Something we drive by everyday and “don’t see”?! I live in Montrose and I see it everyday. I’m sure residents at The Hanover and the forthcoming La Colombe d’Or are thrilled.

 

My church is just a block south.. On the way, I see it often. I hope they restore the house to a good form, and demolish some of the 1970s ugly buildings. I rather they have a large and modern space instead of the hodge podge they have now... I think this is a good thing, especially if it is done right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Covenant House brings a huge amount of undesirable young thugs into the area who loiter, steal and fight... the best thing they can do is move it out

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always said that they need to have "some sort" of location in that area to intake the people that are looking for help but then take them out of the city (maybe katy or Stafford etc..?) to not be in such a densely populated area where it is easy access to trouble? I am sure there is good and bad to how it is now and how i think it could work better

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, ok.

gene, I know you live in the Uptown area, so maybe stick to talking about keeping "undesirables" out of your part of town and leave Montrose alone.

Montrose, at its best, is welcoming of people who need help. This is *exactly* where they should be.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gene said:

I have always said that they need to have "some sort" of location in that area to intake the people that are looking for help but then take them out of the city (maybe katy or Stafford etc..?) to not be in such a densely populated area where it is easy access to trouble? I am sure there is good and bad to how it is now and how i think it could work better

 

 

 

 

I agree. The circumstances aren't the same as they were when Covenant House opened in 1983. 
Montrose was a very different place than it is today. There were still abandoned houses that became "flops" for young people. Street prostitution was much more prevalent.  It had become a destination for runaways, and it made sense to have a facility located in the midst of the action.
Now, about the only advantage the neighborhood has to offer to runaways is Convent House itself. In the past it seemed to be enabling young people to stay on the street. To their credit, measures have been taken to better control its residents. 
But I agree with Gene. The location is ideal for neither the residents nor the neighborhood.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NIMBYism run rife in here.

 

I imagine, gene, if you offered to buy Covenant House a brand new facility somewhere else in the city, they would listen. Hope you have deep pockets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, gmac said:

NIMBYism run rife in here.

 

I imagine, gene, if you offered to buy Covenant House a brand new facility somewhere else in the city, they would listen. Hope you have deep pockets.

I imagine, gmac, if Covenant House sold their current facility, they would have deep enough pockets to build a palace elsewhere in the city.
Also, I have lived close to facilities that assist runaways, the mentally challenged, the homeless, people with HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol issues. I have lived near convenience stores, bars, nightclubs, adult book stores and any other NIMBY triggers you care to name, without complaint. So don't even try to fit me into that box. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of you are absolutely wrong. Being in the middle of the city, with plenty of access to a variety of services, transportation options, and people who can help is the best possible option for people in need. The idea that shipping them off to Stafford or Katy (what in God's name would they do out there) is preferable is absolutely absurd. No, Montrose is not what it once was, but I refuse to believe it's become what you apparently want it to be.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

haha wow i didnt mean to offend...its just that when i was carjacked 8 years ago by someone staying there i ended up visiting them in prison just to get closure...and they told me all about what goes on there and how it is living in an area so rampant with ways to get into trouble... i truly want what is best for anyone and everyone...i FEEL that those that need help need a more conservative location to get that help than smack in the middle of the city...not just Montrose but Houston central. 

again i see nowhere in my post that i was being intentionally offensive? Please be more understanding and thoughtful when posting. 

thanks

 

ps...it would be crazy to think that there aren't "undesirables" as you call them in uptown...there are good and bad people everywhere...and yep even the places i mentioned where they can be away from the hustle and bustle of the big city per say... (and i am talking about short term help for addiction and job skills etc....not long term) AND for the record my condo and my work are in uptown but i frequent Montrose for every restaurant and business with my deep pockets...i truly love Montrose and i truly wish all those that seek and truly want help get it :)

Edited by gene
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Texasota said:

Both of you are absolutely wrong. Being in the middle of the city, with plenty of access to a variety of services, transportation options, and people who can help is the best possible option for people in need. The idea that shipping them off to Stafford or Katy (what in God's name would they do out there) is preferable is absolutely absurd. No, Montrose is not what it once was, but I refuse to believe it's become what you apparently want it to be.

 

Perhaps they would actually attend school

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Covenant House is zoned to either Lamar or Heights HS (not sure exactly where the boundary lies).  I have friends who could easily afford private schools who send their kids to both - and of course, there are other options for getting to a GED.

 

That said, the reason most kids are at Covenant House in the first place is because of terrible home situations - not school attendance (or lack thereof).  Not saying they're angels, but NIMBYism and snobbery aren't helpful.

Edited by mollusk
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my

i hesitated to post on this thread as Covenant house seems to bea lightening Rod of different sorts of opinions......not all of them good. Covenant House is a repeat topic at many Neartown meetings, as Cherryhurst Park seems a de facto  meeting place for non resident kids who get run off by HPD for loitering in front of Covenant House.

 

I was interested in hearing that a former resident of Covenant House resident ( in jail) Gave his point of view about what goes on inside Covenant House. I guess I have the opposite experience, as I was regularly informed by an administrator about Covenant house &or over 10 years. 

 

In 2006, when I first started attending Avondale, Covenant House, was the main target of residents anger at all the vandalism in our neighborhood. Covenant house was invited to speak. The entire meeting seemed to be people yelling at them.But to their credit, Rhonda Robinson ( just retired as Director) explained what they do @nd what they can’t do. Yes- they have strict rules and curfews

No- they can can’t influence the non resident/ mostly trouble makers that congregate along the median across the street. 

As a result of that meeting, I attended most of Covenant House public functions.one of their administrators began attending Avondale meetings as a liaison of sorts. I always appreciated Covenant House trying to be a good neighbor.

 

 Residents are zoned to Lamar, many go for their GED but most get employment and work towards stabilizing their lives and becoming independent. IMO their location helps them accomplish their mission of which I think they are doing more than a respectable job.

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to volunteer with HATCH. We had quite a few kids that were at Covenant House because their parents threw them out for being gay. The organization was much appreciate by me back in the day as they ran a tight ship (miss curfew, tough luck,,, most kids wouldn't miss it twice). That said, predators were always lurking in the area. To me, that responsibility falls at the feet of HPD.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Interesting discussion going on with this. I'm currently working on plotting things going on in our hood, and this was the last one to touch because I still want to explore the area even more than I have thus far, but recently been busy with other priorities in life.

 

I can understand both sides. It might help if I can bring in a different perspective as someone who is younger (29), someone who is still relatively fresh in the hood (since summer 2018), and even as someone who considers oneself to be a kind of outcast.

 

Before I go into the topic at hand it might be better I reflect on my journey to the neighborhood, what I imagined the neighborhood to be from what I had known, and to what I have seen since being on the ground and walking the streets. I've discussed this in various threads throughout this forum, but this seems to be an even more important place for this to be discussed because ultimately this institution, like everything in the neighborhood is coming into contact with what is a larger and deeper metaphysical question that has failed to be touched on in regards to Montrose, its change, the institutions that are trying to stay or trying to leave, and that is a struggle with identity and meaning. Now if these are things which don't tickle your fancy or you don't wish to partake in the discussion then I can understand, but this the realm of ideas which I dwell on and ponder about at length on a daily basis.

 

My first contact with this neighborhood was during my final years in high school (so around 2007-2008), and this contact was due to the fact that my younger sister was studying at HSPVA. She loved this neighborhood and everything that it stood for at that time. Shes a creative type, super hipster, a kind of free spirit in ways, and is ultimately sympathetic to the weird, different, alternative, and unique. I'm cut from the same cloth, but due to many things which happened prior to 07-08 I was very insecure, very sheltered, and completely encased in my own shell. I've often wondered what life would have lead me down if I got to go to a place like HSPVA or been able to frequent a neighborhood such as this during that time instead of being stuck in the lifeless expanses of suburbia. My family and I would often come into town to watch performances at HSPVA to support my sister. These rare excursions were really eye opening for me. Montrose always seemed to be eclectic, fun, vibrant, and generally weird and interesting. At that time it was still that scene for the Alternative of all stripes as well as the gay community, but ultimately this was probably the final heydays of these groups influences on the neighborhood (little did I know).

 

Years went by after that. Past undergrad, and past a short stint where I worked for a firm in the city. Whenever I had an opportunity to spend time in the city I would try to hangout in Montrose. I've always been a kind of outcast, but not for any cultural reasons, financial reasons, race reasons, or gender reasons, but purely due to my perspective and understandings of things. So I guess a mental or intellectual outcast in a sense. Montrose always felt like home or a home to be someday.

 

In 2015, because I didn't like myself, my direction in life, and a yearning for adventure, I left Houston, and went to Germany. During my time there, to say that a metamorphosis, and transformation took place for myself would actually be an understatement. What I was all the way back in 07-08 that I had carried all the way up to 2015 had completely been reversed. A complete 180. I really "grew-up" there, and I say what might have been if I had went to HSPVA and walked in Montrose, because Dessau, Germany, the school I went too was my HSPVA but for Architecture, and Berlin was like my Montrose, the eclectic, fun, vibrant, and generally weird and interesting place which I've always wanted to inhabit. It was an amazing journey and I not only became someone of those things which Montrose has been, but embodied it, and also embraced the fact that "I am an outcast....so what haha". Of course every chapter has to end at some point and in late 2017 due to many factors I had to leave Germany and come back to Houston.

 

So now I'm back in Houston, and essentially had to rebuild my life...again. Looked at many neighborhoods in the in-term before I moved into Montrose. I love The Heights and what its turning into, but while I'm a "Millineal" I'm also not a "Millineal" if you catch my drift, and The Heights has essentially become the Millineals neighborhood. Scratch that. I like the finer things, and aspects of cosmopolitan life, but I'm also not cosmopolitan so that crossed out Uptown. I like bars and partying, but Midtown still isn't a "hood" yet. Scratch that. I like East End and Eado, but again its still not a "hood" yet even though I think that is where the alternative crowd is heading too. Montrose immediately came back into play. So I moved to Montrose.

 

In the summer of 2018 I moved to First Montrose Commons. With the coming exodus of HSPVA though the neighborhood was getting quieter and quieter and very dull, and now I live near the intersection of Westheimer and Dunlavy (where I believe the center of Montrose currently resides).

 

So what have I seen since I've moved into town and into this hood. Lots of interesting things, but its definitely a hood in transition. While its still eclectic, fun, and visually interesting its also dated in many ways. The alternative and gay communities which used to have a firm grip on the hood are dispersing. I've visited and gone to some of the gay clubs (I'm not gay, but man those people know how to party haha), but while with friends, who had been to that area previously, noticed that multiple clubs had recently closed. Not surprised. One of the things the gay community didn't anticipate, but should have, was that when you become embraced by the mainstream there is no reason to live in one place in a very intense close community. Now that gays are widely accepted, they are leaving and dispersing to whichever part of the city they choose. A great thing! However, that means that the intense community that they built here is going to diminish. Sometimes I like to go to Numbers, its the place I go to if I want to see some really weird stuff. Its mostly dead every time I go there. I don't think it will survive much longer, at least in its current form. While the former communities here liked clubs like that were areas for free expression and exuberant behavior, the crowds that are now in Montrose are looking for spaces purely to escape, with sounds that are either rap, trap, or tech heavy not new wave and metal. The alternative crowds are dispersing as well. The more I talk to people the more I hear about the shifts in things along Westheimer from Dunlavy to Montrose. The hipster alternative stuff is still there, but is in decline. The last holdouts for these things is Agora and Pavement + all the stores that are owned by the Pavement owner such as Emerson Rose, Lo-Fi, etc... I bring these things to light because the Gay and Alternative crowds were the "previous" outcasts that called Montrose home. Since we are talking about an institution that helps certain kinds of outcasts its important to lay this out. With this in mind though this doesn't mean that Montrose's identity as an outcast safe haven has died or is dying. Its just shifting.

 

I say shifting because it seems new outcasts are making their way into Montrose. They are of different stripes though than what has existed before. Montrose used to be the neighborhood of the gender, race, and alternative movement variety, but now, at least from what I've noticed is shifting to a variety of outcasts based on generations, ethic backgrounds, and intellectual variety. Lots of young students either from high school to those in college who don't identify with their generational others or suburban versions of them, lots of ethic backgrounds from anything Indian, to Turkish, to Arabic, etc... Lots of dynamics in terms of intellectuals and intellectual discussions. This younger crowd that is moving in are some free-thinkers that like to talk about topics which are currently taboo in the current cultural context. All of these identities meld together as well much like the crowds based on gender, race, and alternative movements also meld together. This is what makes these people outcasts because they don't fit the molds of what is expected by others but now its by generation, ethicity, and intellectual discussion. Its really interesting and I want to explore this more, just like I want to explore more of Montrose as a whole. I could be very wrong, but I just keep seeing these things more and more.

 

One of the biggest outcasts that I'm seeing underlying the generations, ethic backgrounds, and intellectual varieties...is young men. This will eventually get to the reason why I believe Covenant House should stay. Where once the societal outcasts were women who wanted to be different, or men who had a different sexual orientation, or those who were thrown out because of those things which Covenant House would try to help, now this is going to shift to young men and of all stripes. Where the ones I stated above were outcasts and pushed to the fringes of society and felt like they didn't have a reason to buy into society, now they feel like they can and are doing so. Society has now turned that scorn away from those groups and over the past 3-5 years have turned that focus onto young men. Every time I pass Covenant House, there are women there don't get me wrong and its not like women don't have issues as well, but I almost always see a greater proportion of younger men. The young men I sometimes hangout with at my intersection are a really interesting brunch. Very creative, smart, and with a lot of potential, but they are outcasts. Many of them are generational outcasts and they are all young men. While they are bright and have potential great futures they also incredibly confused about what the world expects of them, are constantly high, or find ways to completely divert their attention from realty because in a way society has told recently that they don't need them. Its a real shame. Now Covenant House isn't where these people go, but its definitely a place when things probably get to the extreme. Just as it was for the extreme examples for women and gays, and others back in the day. Its merely a magnet for the extremes of those elements. Now its just going to be for the extremely dispossessed from a generational, ethic, and mental stand point rather than the previous gender, race, alternate standpoint.

 

I'm really glad to hear that Covenant House is doing this capital campaign. This institution is important and has a place here. While it might not now be for the dispersing former outcasts and therefore might be seen as something that isn't needed here anymore, there are new outcasts coming down the pipeline. Montrose is in transition, but isn't there yet, but even after the shift it will always be a place for outcasts...just different forms from the previous. I hope that it really uses this capital to tackle a real up and coming problem which is the recent alienation and dispossession of young men, just as Covenant House tried to tackle the alienation and dispossession of a previous era and their problems such as HIV/AIDS, various mental issues due to gender, racial issues, and the financial issues that come from being tossed out accordingly. Like I said about the neighborhood in general though...its dated...very dated and needs a serious reboot in order to tackle the new problems coming down the pipeline that will be brought to bear by new outcasts. As someone who is a kind of outcast myself, but has built myself to be able to handle my own life, yet understands that there are those who can't, this place is something that will be needed and always will. Just like society is trying to push young men to the fringes of society and ignore them thinking there won't be a problem, don't think that moving an institution like this will solve your problems with them. It merely pushes the people in need to the fringes and only hides the problem and will just make those in the extremes more violent and without those who can help talk them back from the extremes. Again, I get the other side though. That area where the House is at is a complete mess and needs a reboot, but just because the old outcasts have grown up and now have left doesn't mean that their aren't new outcasts that you might not understand or identify with. They are there, and to ignore the outcasts is to ignore them at your peril. This House and the neighborhood in general, like Germany and Berlin/Dessau were for me, is a place where people can get their stuff figured out, explore, and possibly transform themselves for the better. Of course their will be those that never will, but that doesn't mean there can't be places or scenes, or areas for people to experiment and try to change. Montrose and this institution are the manifestation of that. A place to grow and figure yourself out and hopefully become better and then you leave to go and do great and better things than before.

 

Long post, I know, but I love this neighborhood, I'm very interested in what its transitioning into, and I feel like I have a decent beat on where its started to go, and what that new make up might be. Again, I don't have it all figured out, but these are things that I've thought about deeply for a number months in and out since I've been here and interacted with others.

 

 

Edited by Luminare
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...