The Houston Texans Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the Houston Texans Social Justice Fund to assist nonprofits in the greater Houston area which support youth and provide legal services for underprivileged citizens. 8 Million Stories, Restoring Justice and the YMCA of Greater Houston were selected through a grant process and will receive a total of $100,000 from the Houston Texans Foundation to support internal programs.
"Establishing a fund to bolster social justice programs in the City of Houston has been an ambition for the Texans organization for several years," said Houston Texans Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cal McNair. "Following the leadership of our players, who have dedicated numerous hours giving back to the community in which they work and live, we are proud to announce the creation of this fund which we hope will grow to make a lasting impact over time in our community."
During 2019, the organization and players will support the following social justice programs:
8 Million Stories serves youth ages 16 to 18 who have been formally incarcerated in juvenile detention. It provides a four-month program to assist youth to rebuild community relationships, access social services, continue their education and develop job skills to gain employment. The grant will assist the program in providing mentoring, tutoring, leadership development training, roundtable discussions around social justice issues, community service projects and career exploration in the sports industry for club participants.
Restoring Justice is a faith-based nonprofit that provides legal, social and spiritual services to those accused of crimes who do not have adequate defense and cannot afford to hire attorneys. Through Restoring Justice's efforts, criminal defense legal services are provided and individuals unjustly detained can be released and given expert representation. With Restoring Justice, clients are able to experience holistic wraparound care including access to ID restoration, mental care counseling, job readiness training and social services. The grant will provide resources for legal and social services for their clients.
The YMCA of Greater Houston will use this grant to support Teen Leadership Programs including Y TEEN L.I.F.E. (Leadership, Inspiration, Fellowship and Education), YMCA Achievers and YMCA Leaders Clubs. Y TEEN L.I.F.E hosts leadership development opportunities for youth in Houston that encourage them to discover their purpose, develop a positive view of personal future and empowerment, as well as be agents of social change. The YMCA Achievers initiatives focus on career and college readiness, and the YMCA Leaders Clubs motivates youth to be excellent leaders.
As part of ongoing social justice efforts inspired by Texans players, the organization partnered with the Greater Houston Police Activities League (GHPAL) in March 2018 to support their relational policing initiatives including players learning more about their day-to-day jobs via ride alongs, hospital visits with officers through their Badges & Bears program, involvement with P.A.L. youth activities including a $10,000 grant to support sports programs and hosting a PLAY 60 event with Houston Texans rookies. The Texans also co-branded HPD and Texans giveaway items for officers to use for positive interactions with youth in the community.