Earlier this week, Urban Strategies completed and submitted our application to the Texas State Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to open and operate an emergency shelter for foster care children in Houston. This was a very long and arduous process that began last fall when it came to our attention that children who were without placement were sleeping in DFPS offices due to the shortage of foster care beds in the region. The sleeping arrangements in this facility are unacceptable and many of the teens run away for the night and find themselves in dangerous situations. Two months ago, one of the teenagers, while running away from the shelter in the middle of the night, was struck by a vehicle and died. Some have been assaulted and hospitalized, others are trafficked and never return. We found this situation appalling and collectively, our team determined we must respond.
After many months of conversations and meetings, we found a beautiful facility along with local partners who have been steadily committed to the care of foster children. With their support, we have moved forward to apply for license to operate a General Residential Operation with Emergency Services. The next is to wait for approval of the license and then obtain a contract with the state to begin serving children. Stay tuned as we anticipate the next announcement being that we received our license.