Serving as a Catalyst for Social Change

The Frees Foundation


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Grant History Story

In 1998, Denver Harbor (eastside of Houston, Texas) was receiving virtually no social services and the community lacked access to primary health care. In response, a church coalition established Houston Community Health Centers, Inc. (HCHC) in La Roca Church and opened the one day a week community clinic. Within a year, the clinic was operating two days a week and needing a better location.

The neighborhood blight was a nearby boarded-up cantina. HCHC had an opportunity to purchase this building for the clinic site but lacked the funds. The Frees Foundation funded the $150,000 purchase of the former cantina as the cornerstone of a new community health clinic and as a first step to revitalizing a near downtown neighborhood.

In turn, a $450,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation followed along with support from numerous Houston foundations, corporations, city and county agencies. Today, the cantina has been transformed as a Federally Qualified Health Care Clinic (FQHC) operating 40 hours a week. In addition, The Frees Foundation has funded a second purchase of an adjacent tract for a future Denver Harbor Clinic expansion in association with Texas Medical Center hospitals.

The Frees Foundation has continued to support the clinic by purchasing additional land for expansion of the complex.

Helping to revitalize a neighborhood and bringing much-needed health services to a previously underserved community near downtown Houston serves as an example of the social change small foundations, such as The Frees Foundation, can make in a community.

From a neighborhood blight to a community asset as a health clinic

Denver Harbor Health Clinic

Collaborating to Rebuild a Community

Copyright 2015 The Frees Foundation