Buckner International, Star of Hope to Collaborate on Educational Ministry to Single-Parent Families

HOUSTON — Buckner International and Star of Hope Mission formally announced a new transitional program for single-parent families Feb. 22 at Star of Hope in Houston.

The two social service organizations will team up to start Buckner Family Place of Houston, with operations beginning in May. Family Place is designed to strengthen single-parent families and reduce barriers to self-sufficiency. Residents are enrolled in an academic or vocational program and receive housing and child care assistance along with supportive counseling and case management services. Buckner currently operates similar programs in six Texas communities, including Buckner Family Place of Conroe.

Star of Hope President and CEO Hank Rush said the collaboration will allow each of the organizations to cross-refer families into each other’s unique programs, as well as “share programs and resources common to the Family Place model, such as parent education, financial literacy classes, after-school programming, tutoring for children and parents, and spiritual enrichment activities.”

Star of Hope is Houston’s largest provider of services for homeless men, women and children, serving more than 6,000 people each year, with life-changing recovery and long-term educational programs for sustained, independent, living, Rush said.

Buckner President Albert L. Reyes said the Family Place model is a “good fit” for a collaboration between Buckner and Star of Hope.

“Star of Hope’s focus on serving the homeless and Buckner’s desire to strengthen families are very inclusive,” Reyes said. “One of the root causes of homelessness is the lack of education, and Family Place’s educational-based model seeks to resolve that issue.”

Reyes said that the two agencies have not selected a site for the residences, but the location “will be determined by the selection of a nearby college or university that fits the needs of the program and the families we serve.”

Star of Hope Mission, founded in Houston in 1907, is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. Positive life changes are encouraged through structured programs which focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life-management and recovery from substance abuse.

Buckner International, based in Dallas, is a 131-year-old Christian organization with programs for orphans, vulnerable children and families in 12 countries. In addition, Buckner provides services to elders through a network of seven senior living communities in Texas.

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