AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY through a concrete set of programs and services promoting self-empowerment. The Julia C. Hester House, a settlement house and community center located in Houston’s Fifth Ward, strives to mobilize the community to address its issues and needs. Utilizing a holistic case management model, Hester House attempts to stabilize and treat the root of the client’s problem. This approach facilitates solutions that will engage and empower the client and family members to seek social independence and economic stability. Our current programs include early childhood services, youth services, family and social services and senior services.
Julia C. Hester has inspired generations of Houstonians through her story of community service. Mrs. Hester strongly believed in the power of education and engagement of neighborhood youth. To ensure the safety and education of the youth of the historic Fifth Ward, Mrs. Hester opened her home to neighborhood children and actively engaged in nurturing their development as community leaders and successful individuals. In addition to her work with neighborhood youth, Mrs. Hester was a highly respected community leader and active volunteer until her death in 1940. The Hester House honors her legacy by providing a safe haven for youth, as well as by promoting education and quality of life for families residing in Fifth Ward.
In 1941, a bi-racial committee established Hester House as a settlement house promoting the health, education and welfare of the African-American community in Fifth Ward. Upon incorporating with the State of Texas in 1943, the organization was re-named Julia C. Hester House. The Hester House was the first African-American organization to receive financial support from Houston’s Community Chest, which is now known as United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Julia C. Hester House was originally to be called the Houston Negro Community Center of the Fifth Ward, but before the doors opened it was renamed after Julia C. Hester, a longtime resident of the ward who spent her life working for the welfare of her community. In 1946 the board of directors began searching for a larger building, and three years later, after a successful fund-raising campaign, Hester House moved from rented facilities on Lyons Avenue to its own $150,000 building on Solo Street. It has occupied this site ever since.
Julia C. Hester House provides supportive and comprehensive case management services for both individuals and families. The focus of our family and social services program is to address immediate client needs and eliminate systemic obstacles in order to help families to achieve personal, educational and economic independence. Helping individual families achieve self-empowerment ultimately enhances the quality of life in the Fifth Ward and surrounding communities.
Addresses client needs through intake, assessments, information and referrals, development of personal goals/objectives, monitoring, mentoring and evaluation.
Addresses basic urgent and emergency needs. Services consist of food assistance, utility assistance, rent/mortgage assistance and life skills (i.e. financial literacy, employment assistance, educational assistance).