Until a few weeks ago, a field near the corner of the East FM 1960 Bypass and Wilson Road in Humble was a vacant property, serving no purpose in an area that is seeing recent growth. On December 11 at 11 a.m., that property was ceremoniously designated as the site for a family Life Skills Center that will be built for Family Promise of Lake Houston (FPLH), an agency that meets the immediate needs of homeless families while empowering them to attain self-sufficiency. Builder Captain, First America Homes, the homebuilding division of The Signorelli Company, under the leadership of Dave Barnhart, is providing construction for this HomeAid Houston project.
Jessica Penney, executive director of FPLH welcomed more than 100 guests who gathered to hear speakers’ inspirational and supportive comments that applauded the FPLH staff and board members, as well as the dozens of vendors and trades who are donating their materials and time for the construction. Speakers at the event included Rob Sorge, president of the FPLH board, Lauren Brinkerhoff, a FPLH mother who gave the invocation, Pam Webster, a FPLH graduate who is now a Sheriff for the City of Houston; Carole Brady, executive director of HomeAid; Dave Barnhart, Home Building Division President of First America Homes and Casey Morgan, CEO of the Greater Houston Builders Association.
Several elected officials were also represented by their offices that included: Clarissa Perez from Councilman Dave Martin’s office; Christie Siedhoff, from Senator Brandon Creighton's office; Heather Washburn from Congressman Kevin Brady's office; Janet Huberty, wife of State Representative Dan Huberty and Alejandrae Siedhoff from Congressman Dan Crenshaw's office who presented a Cogressional Proclamation honoring Family Promise.
Also in attendance was Tom Depping, CEO at Ascentium Capital, a long-time supporter of the agency who presented a check to FPLH for $20,000.
These special guests marked the highlight of the event as they set 15 gold shovels into the site, launching the construction of the 5800 sq. ft. Life Skills Center called Promise House. A lunch reception concluded the event that was generously provided by Sullivan's Truck & Auto out of Kingwood.
“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony marked a major milestone in the building and development of supportive housing for families who are facing homelessness,” said Carole Brady. “HomeAid is proud to partner with so many of the industry’s generous professionals who share the same passion for helping those less fortunate.”
Promise House will offer a caring and positive environment for children and their families who are reeling from a variety of crisis situations including fire, flood, the death of a spouse, loss of a job, an eviction, or a foreclosure of a home. The Center will offer admin offices, additional mentoring and counseling offices, on-site training rooms, a teaching kitchen, a computer and educational room as well as a family room, library and children’s playroom.
Funders to the project include The William Stamps Farish Fund, Albemarle Foundation, Ascentium Capital and Avis Charitable Foundation. FPLH is also receiving funding from the PetSmart Charitable Foundation, who will pay for a "pet condo" on the property, allowing families to keep their pets as they work to improve their situation. The grant is part of a national agreement with the Family Promise organization.
"This groundbreaking was a pivotal event that will ultimately change the lives of deserving families who otherwise may have ended up on the street," said Jessica Penney. "We can't thank HomeAid Houston, First America Homes, our funders and the dozens of vendors, suppliers, trades and volunteers enough for helping this project come to fruition."
HomeAid has been building transformational housing for homeless care agencies throughout Houston and surrounding counties since 2003. The first shelter was dedicated in 2005. Since then, 54 projects have been completed, adding over 441 beds and $14.2 million in real estate construction and improvements to Houston’s homeless community. For more information about HomeAid Houston visit www.homeaidhouston.org or call 281-970-8970.