HomeAid Houston, a 501 c 3 charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association has had the privilege of working with Engineers Without Borders, a group of engineers and technical professionals who volunteer their time, resources and technical expertise to design and implement projects that seek to sustainably develop communities in need.
The HomeAid project is a dental clinic for Hope Center Houston, a faith-based nonprofit that offers homeless men and women a safe space, resources, and a caring community. The team of engineering college students are creating construction drawings and permitting applications to move the construction of the clinic forward within the existing building.
“Everyone on the team has a passion to serve others and a tenacity to be part of something bigger than themselves,” said Aaron Lopez, REIC (Responsible Engineer in Charge). “Being part of Engineers Without Borders, and projects like the Hope Center, fill our sense of purpose while also strengthening our ties to the local community. It’s our mission ‘to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges’.”
For people who live on the streets or have marginal housing, minimal income, and no health insurance, dental care often becomes a low priority. The result is poor oral hygiene, dental disease, and often tooth decay and loss.
“The challenges the homeless in our community face are astounding,” said Carole Brady, executive director of HomeAid. “The dental clinic will help give them a better quality of life and in turn, aid in their journey to secure employment. We are excited to have Engineers Without Borders during the early stages of this project. Without them, the project would have moved much slower during construction start-up.”
The Day Center provides breakfast, lunch, laundry, showers, and clothing in addition to medical, mental health and spiritual needs. Individuals also have access to life-skills classes, counseling, AA and referrals to support efforts to transition off the streets.
More than 3,000 homeless individuals were served in the first three years of the Center. Several hundred made significant strides in overcoming addictions, acquiring jobs and finding affordable housing. In August 2019, they officially became Hope Center Houston and acquired a new facility on Peakwood in the FM 1960 area, allowing them to provide additional services and opportunities for supporting agencies to come alongside their mission.
For more information about HomeAid Houston visit www.homeaidhouston.org or call 281-970-8970.