As Texana Center prepares to celebrate its 20th year in operation, we look back on our growth and achievements. However, this milestone is not only a time to look back, but also to look ahead and prepare for the future. To move forward, we must invest in expanding successful programs and developing additional, innovative services to help more adults and children with autism and intellectual disabilities move towards independence and competitive employment. We cannot do this alone, which is why we launched the Forward Together Capital Campaign.
With the suburbs of West Houston being one of the fastest growing areas, in particular the Fulshear/Katy Area, Texana Center’s Specialized Services division has a growing wait list that has almost doubled in the last three years. After analyzing the wait list in 2015, Texana found that the demand for services is greatest in the Fulshear/Katy Area. Another progression that Texana has noted is a growing population of young adults with autism who do not fit well into the current service models. The individuals and their families are searching for full integration into the surrounding community including access to competitive employment in industries of their choice.
Texana Center’s vision is to build a continuum of services for those with autism and intellectual disabilities that will help them unlock their potential by gaining long-term, competitive employment and successfully entering adulthood to become productive members of society. To achieve this vision, Texana is constructing a new regional center on 14.5 acres in Northwestern Fort Bend County, which will provide a multitude of programs for children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities.
This new regional center, which will be built in three phases, will enable Texana to expand our proven, successful programs for children with autism, as well as create innovative, replicable educational programming that will provide adults with autism and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to learn in a community college-like setting and obtain competitive employment in a field of their choice.
Phase I – Texana Bistro & Boutique
The Phase I building, Texana Bistro & Boutique, will include a coffee shop, café, and retail store that will sell items made by individuals with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Phase I will also serve as an ‘incubator’ for the next two phases of the campus project, allowing Texana to expand existing programs for children and pilot new programs for adults. The rear side of the building will host the third location of the Texana Children’s Center for Autism as well as new programs under the new Texana Center for Advancement. Those programs are the Transitions Center and Ready to Work program. The Transitions Center will provide training for teens and young adults in a community college-like setting where they will gain social and employment skills, explore their strengths, and create individual plans for career success where the Ready To Work program will offer clients on-the-job training to achieve their career goals and practical, hands-on internships.
In May of 2018, Texana Center broke ground on Phase I of the Forward Together Capital Campaign. Pictured above L to R: Texana Board of Trustees: Anita Christensen, Mary Rose Zdunkewicz, Sue Fagan, Dr. Mary DesVignes-Kendrick, Dr. Dennis Young; Texana CEO, George Patterson; Texana Board of Trustee Chair, Dianne Wilson; The George Foundation Board of Trustee, Ruthanne Meffford; Texana Board of Trustee, John Robson; Texana Steering Committee Chair, Tricia Turner, and her son, Justin; Texana Community Advisory Board Chair, Katina Scott; The George Foundation CEO, Roger Adamson; The George Foundation Board of Trustee, Steve Ewbank; The George Foundation Senior Program Officer, Quynh-Anh NcMahan; and The George Foundation Board of Trustee Chair, Tom McNutt.
Phase II – Children’s Center for Autism
Phase II will focus on expanding the Children’s Center for Autism to address growing wait lists in the area. The facility will also offer space to provide additional services such as parent training, after school care, and an integrated preschool classroom. When Phase II is complete, the children’s classroom in the Phase I building will be used to expand the Transitions Center.
Phase III – Center for Advancement
Phase III will expand the Transitions Center and Ready to Work program for teens and adults. The Transitions Center will provide further education in a community college-like setting, and will move more clients through classes that prepare them to live independently and help them gain employment in the community.
Thank you to numerous foundations, community organizations and individuals who believe in
and support Texana’s vision for our Forward Together Campaign.
The George Foundation
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Madison Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Fred & Mabel R. Parks Foundation
Teresa A Johnson Memorial Fund
Cross Creek Ranch by Johnson Development
Main Family Foundation
and many other generous individual donors.