July 2022 Issue

 A Note from our CEO
Become a Foster Parent
Meet the Beames Family
40 Stories Over 40 Years
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Top Needs & Ways to Help
One year ago, in my first message to you as CEO, I wrote about what a privilege and honor it was to step in and walk alongside those who have carried the mission and vision of Casa de Esperanza for the past 40 years. Those sentiments still hold true today. After a year of transition, change and challenges, Casa de Esperanza stands firmly as a "house of hope."

The celebration of Casa's 40th Birthday this year has provided many opportunities to reflect on the past and plan for the future. The reality is that we, along with other organizations in the foster care and child welfare space, face challenges due to changes in licensing regulations and the definitions of abuse and neglect. This translates into fewer placements of and increased risks for vulnerable children. In response, and with the adoption and implementation of a new three-year strategic plan, the Casa staff has focused on expanding outreach efforts to secure referral resources and increase awareness of our services for at-risk families. At the same time, we are responding to the ever-increasing need for support services for our post-adopt and aftercare families by solidifying the structure and capacity of those programs. We will never step back from our mission to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

A birth parent recently told us, "I am very grateful to have a place like this for me and my son while I got myself together for the both of us." Because of the forward thinking staff and Governing Board and YOUR support, we are doing what we do best: pulling together, adapting and ensuring that our families and children have a place to turn to when they are in crisis.

We have never been able to do this work alone. It is your partnership that makes change happen for our families. It is your support that ensures children and families experience safety, love and HOPE. Thank you.

Please feel free to email me with any questions you have or to schedule a visit.

Melissa L. Simon, MSW, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer
Fostering Bright Beginnings
Meet the Beames Family
A Letter from Shanna and Josh Beames, Volunteer Community Foster Parents

"Foster care was never something that was on our radar until our church highlighted the staggering statistics and the need in our community. When we got married, we always said we would have a biological child and adopt a child. Have we been in for the ride of our lives as foster and now adoptive parents!

When we started looking into foster care we were clueless and probably a little naïve. We had an 18-month-old biological son, didn’t know any other foster parents, and had no idea what this life would entail. We were referred to Casa de Esperanza by friends who adopted a child from Casa de Esperanza many years prior. We went into it knowing nothing, but felt God pulling us in that direction so we jumped in with both feet. I could not have imagined the heartbreak, uncertainty, love and pure joy that would follow in the years to come. Four years and nine children later, I can honestly say that these children have given more to us than we could have ever given to them.

Our first placement was a 10-month-old little girl who was with us for 2 years. We were the only family she really knew, and we loved her like our own. Heartbreak would be an understatement to describe how we felt the day we got the call that she was going back to her parents. The grieving process began. I won’t lie and tell you that loving and losing is easy. It’s hard. We fully support reunification when it’s in the best interest of the child, but it doesn’t minimize the sense of loss that we feel as foster parents when they leave us. However, I can tell you that you will cope and you will get through it. Then you pick yourself up and keep going for the sake of these children who need safe people, a safe place to live, and to know what it feels like to have a loving family. One of our favorite foster care quotes says, “Foster care means choosing the pain of a great loss if it means a child has received the gain of a great love.” Whether a child comes into your life for a little while or stays forever, no one can ever take away what you are able to give them during these critical years of development – love, connection, a sense of belonging, stability, safety, and the list goes on.

We truly believe that relationships, with the children in your care and your support system, are the key to successful foster parenting. Using healthy male relationships to help a little girl overcome her fear of men due to past physical abuse is a success. Modeling healthy family relationships to a child who has only seen violence is a success. Getting a child safely off the street in the cold of winter and showing them that someone cares about them is a success.

The amazing people at Casa de Esperanza are like a second family to us. Our relationships with them have helped sustain us and keep us sane through this journey. They are voices of reason during chaos, provide sound advice during times of uncertainty, and offer lots of support to get us through the tough days. I can say with confidence that Casa de Esperanza is a top tier agency who truly cares about the best interest of the children in their care and the families who work with them.

Additionally, the support from our family and friends outside of Casa de Esperanza has also sustained us. We always say we couldn’t do it without our family and friends who have so graciously stood with us, become certified to babysit for us, loved these children like their own, and been an ear to listen when we just needed to talk.

Though there have been many ups and downs, we would do it all over again in a heartbeat. In addition to our biological son, we now have two adopted sons. We have given and received so much through this foster care journey and our hearts are full. To anyone considering being a foster parent, we would say just jump in with both feet. There will never be the perfect time and you can always find excuses not to. Yes, you are strong enough to handle it. There are children waiting for you to say “yes.” I promise it will be the most rewarding experience you’ve ever had." - Shanna and Josh Beames
40 Stories over 40 Years:
Houston Rockets
Clutch City to the Core! Earlier this month, Clutch, from the Houston Rockets, visited Casa de Esperanza’s Residential Neighborhood. The Rockets’ staff set up a toy “car wash” for all our children’s outdoor toys. Our staff had the chance to reminisce with Clutch on the Rockets’ deep roots with Casa.⁠
The first building built on Casa de Esperanza’s Almeda property was funded by the Houston Rockets’ inaugural Tux and Tennies Gala in 1996. ⁠
Aptly named The Rockets Center, this building provides such more than a place to work for our casework team. It has proved immeasurable in the number of ways it has served our community since opening the doors in 1997, functioning as:⁠
Developmental Center: A large playroom and the backyard and play area have helped our staff psychologists conduct individual play therapy sessions with children as well as to hold a therapeutic, development- oriented play groups.⁠
Family Center: It provides a space for our Caseworkers to conduct intake interviews, to counsel and create plans of service with the parents of the children in placement, and to supervise the children’s visits with their parents. ⁠
Medical Clinic: The weekly Medical Clinic was housed in the Rockets Center to serve in the medical assessment and treatment of children in Casa de Esperanza’s programs.⁠
AIDS Family Day: The building hosted AIDS Family Day, which served as a day of respite and support for over 30 local caregivers of children with HIV. Child care, a hot meal, group support, and emergency economic assistance were provided.⁠
Community-based Foster Care, Post Adoption, and Community Volunteer Programs: Recruitment, training, and support group meetings for these three vital programs are held in at the Rockets Center. ⁠
Thank you, Houston Rockets for being a pillar of support!

Follow along on our social media pages - Facebook and Instagram - each Saturday as we share memorable stories throughout Casa’s history.
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers!
A big THANKS to all of our groups who purchased items from our Amazon Wish List, helped stock the pantry, donated a meal, or provided other support in May!
Friends of Casa 
National Charity League-Memorial 
Prelude Music Foundation 
Ryan Neece Foundation 
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church 
WilScot Houston 
Group volunteer opportunities have resumed! For more information on group volunteer opportunities, email Chrissy.
Upcoming Events
For more information, please contact Erika DuBose at edubose@casahope.org.
  • 2T Boy Shorts and Shirts
  • Size 5 & 6 diapers; Size 4T-5T pull-ups; Unscented baby wipes
  • Cleaning supplies and hygiene items
Other Ways to Help