They are great with the kids. I was recently homeless in for 5 years until last year of 2014. They took in my daughter and gave her a safe place with food and company of other kids her age. I was able to visit her every other week and casa helped me find resources for housing once I applied for two of them I waited for them to call me for housing. For two weeks and a half casa helped me out with staying in a hotel that had a kitchen and fridge it was nice of them. They brought me food if I needed and picked me up for visits to see my daughter if and when needed. They gave me bus cards as well. When I got my apartment they helped me get free furniture and then my daughter came back home. They spoil the kids there. I'm very protective of my daughter because I was in foster care but casa I now know I can trust. I'm thankful to God for the case workers at casa
When I chose to volunteer as a house parent at Casa for a year, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. Superficially, I provided a safe environment for abused and neglected children between ages 0-6 in foster care. In actuality, it was much more than that. I have seen children come in so malnourished and so physically and emotionally abused that I doubted that I would ever be able to salvage a life and soul from that body. Surprisingly-- or perhaps, unsurprisingly-- these are usually the children that changed and thrived the most at Casa.
To this day, I keep a thick 3 inch stack of photographs of children that I cared for at Casa piled on my desk. At the top of the stack is a photograph of a little boy toddling down a wooden path in the Casa neighborhood on his first birthday. In the picture, he is curious, happy, and well-cared for-- everything that we take for granted a child should be. Unfortunately, when he first arrived at Casa at five months-old, he had a fractured arm. He was in so much pain that he could not stop screaming the whole night. I remember the frustration and the exhaustion as another staff member and I took turns rocking him for three hours, hoping against hope that he could be soothed to sleep. Over the course of the next year, he had a chance to grow from a grumpy, shrieking, demanding, and constantly crying infant into an inquisitive, playful, loving, endearing, smart, joyous toddler.
But what makes Casa special is that the child I mentioned above is not an exception, but the norm. Casa de Esperanza has saved, and continues to save, the lives of countless children.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a volunteer with Casa almost since its inception, in 1982. In the beginning I wrote grant requests seeking funds to operate the homes for the children. Gradually more programs were added including a medical clinic, a therapeutic nursery, a foster family program, an in-house school - one program at a time as each need was identified.
I now serve on the Casa Board and the Casa Foundation Board. In volunteering at Casa I became part of a family. The focus is on caring for and healing the young children that come to us, but soon we come to caring for all of us who are involved in their care – a bond is formed and we are held tight in our love.
I have been a volunteer at Casa de Esperanza in Houston, Texas for about 2 years now. My “job” is to have fun with children. Some are there for only a short while and others may be there for over a year. The majority are babies and toddlers, but there are also older children in the family-like Casa homes. Depending on each child’s age and needs, I find myself bouncing babies, playing with blocks, helping with homework, baking cookies, building a shelf – in other words—whatever is needed and appropriate.
Casa provides structure, safety and routines that allow children to successfully move on to permanent foster care, adoption or a return to their birth parents if that situation has stabilized.
House moms come to us as 6 month or 1 year volunteers. Some stay even longer. They receive training and support from Casa, but they bring an enormous amount of love and commitment to their job. They are the true secret to the success of Casa.
I came to Casa twenty years ago, straight out of college, to volunteer as a house parent in their residential home. My first group of children included a sibling set that had been sexually abused, a 3-year-old boy who was so damaged by physical abuse that he could barely eat or sleep, and two crack and HIV-exposed infants that weighed a total of seven pounds between them! What a challenge for a 22-year-old! I completed my year of volunteer work, signed up for a second year and eventually went back to graduate school to pursue a degree in public health. Convinced of the extreme need of so many children in foster care for permanency, my eventual husband and I returned to Casa to adopt our first two children. As adoptive parents with this organization, we have received supportive and caring post-adoption services to help us with our children's special needs and to link us to other families who are sharing a similar life journey.
I've been volunteering for Casa de Esperanza since it's inception in '82...in one form or another. Most of my work involved raising money to help them survive. It was not easy for them and the staff worked for almost nothing. The houses initially were in a poor part of town as that was the only property available to them. Kathy Foster and Bill Jones had a vision that they could help the children of Houston who were abused, neglected, HIV/AIDS infected, or abandoned. Many times the parents of these children just needed a break to find a job to get back on their feet. Kathy and BIll provided that lifeline. And more. They take in children 0-6 years and keep them in the Casa houses until the children can either return to their family, go to a foster home, or be legally adopted. In the residential homes, the children are taken care of by wonderful young people who come from all over the country. They give love and stability to these children and teach them manners and how to trust, among other things. They offer toys to play with, a comfortable bed to sleep in, clean clothes to wear, and a healthy diet, plus lots of love and firm discipline.
I have been a volunteer at Casa for many years, rocking babies as well as serving as sort of a "weekend dad" to a young boy. I'm also a donor, a Board Member and was recently elected president of the Casa Governing Board. Casa provides a safe home for some of Houston's most damaged children. Were it not for Casa, I truly feel many of these children would fall between the cracks and either end up on the streets or dead.
Review from Guidestar
Casa de Esperanza de Los Ninos is an amazing organization which cares for abused, neglected and HIV positive children. Welcomed into homes where they receive food, medical and psychological care, and a clean bed, the children find love and nurture in a safe environment. I have volunteered once a week for three hours for over twenty years and have personally seen many changes in a few weeks from frightened, diry and hungry children who have just come to Casa to clean, well-fed children who are engaged with those around them, relaxed and beginning to laugh and play. I have always loved children and have my own and now have grandchildren, but it is a great joy to be a stable adult in these children's lives. They know I will show up each week and that we will read books/build blocks/cook/whatever they want to do. With sadness I have seen many leave Casa, as they must, but I know they are going with an understanding of "home" that they did not have before. It is my hope that somewhere within them this memory is deep-seated and will serve them well in their future. My husband and I also conbribute annually to Casa because we believe in their mission and know that every dollar is focused toward the children and is well accounted for.