Wellsprings Village, Inc., is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1988 by the late Dominican Sisters Rita Owens and Justin Farinella, who were deeply concerned about the lack of services available to Houston’s homeless women devastated by domestic violence, substance abuse and poverty.
The agency provided services to homeless women between the ages of 30 and 50 who did not have children in their immediate care. Housing in lease-free homes was provided by the Burkitt Foundation. Wellsprings also purchased an additional house in close proximity.
In 1996, Wellsprings expanded its programs to provide rental assistance and supportive services at scattered apartment sites to homeless women with or without children. These services were funded through grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1996 through January 2009.
In 1997, the donated houses were sold, and Wellsprings continued operations in the one house that it owned. In 2004, the Board of Directors sold this house and purchased the organization’s current campus on Allum Road to establish a permanent location for its transitional housing program.
In 2005, two modular four bedroom homes were erected at the permanent location. With funding from the Gulf Coast Rebuilding Fund and pro bono construction services from HomeAid Houston, six additional residential buildings were constructed during 2006-2007, meeting the goal of having eight transitional housing buildings on the property. Six of the houses are used for resident housing, one for program and administrative offices and the remaining house is the campus Community Building. The Community Building has a computer lab and clothes closet. Life skills meetings, counseling, classes, peer group meetings, and other activities are normally held in that building.
Each house has a living room, dining area, full kitchen, walk-in pantry and study. A common half bath is in the hallway that leads to four bedrooms and a washer/dryer area; each bedroom has a bathroom and two closets and is shared by two women.
Currently, the program provides services to unaccompanied women 25-50. Women over 50 are screened on a case-by-case basis. Residents are considered successfully discharged from our program when they have obtained and maintained employment for six months or more, started a savings account, remained stable in their sobriety as well as their mental health, and transitioned into an independent living situation.