Houston was founded more than 150 years ago by the Allen brothers, frontier explorers who stood on the grassy banks of Buffalo Bayou and dreamed of what today is modern Houston.
Houston is America’s fourth largest city, with a population of 2.3 million people located in an area more than twice the size of Rhode Island. There are over 6.3 million people in the greater metropolitan area of Houston, and over 100 different ethnic groups reside in the city limits. This makes Houston one of the World’s great multicultural urban centers. In addition, Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. The population has grown by an average of 30,000 people a year since 2010.
Houston has a global economy with only New York City having a higher number of fortune 500 headquarters. In addition to being an economic epicenter, Houston is the headquarters for the United States’ manned space flight effort. It is the capital of the international energy industry and home to the world’s largest medical center.
It is estimated that more than 4,000 people are classified as experiencing chronic homelessness in the Houston city limits. This is a microcosm of the Gulf area where more than 760,000 residents live in poverty. It is estimated that over 150,000 (29,000 youth under the age of 18) of those residents are marginally homeless – taken in by friends or family because there is nowhere else to go.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR TRIP
CSM is blessed to partner with several amazing organizations and ministries throughout Houston that strive to effect positive change. Read below to learn more about just a few of our partner organizations and ministries!
Covenant House Texas – A division of Covenant House International, CHT is dedicated to helping youth and young adults ages 18-24 come out of the cycle of poverty and homelessness. They’re strategically located in a crucial area of Houston that also allows them to step in and extend a helping hand to runaway teens before they’re targeted by human traffickers. Their programs provide structure to those in crisis as well as resources for those on a job search or those hoping to go to college.
SBP – Started in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, SBP is located in various cities across the country. In Houston, their goal is to help families affected by Hurricane Harvey rebuild and get back into their homes as quickly as possible. They are staffed primarily by AmeriCorps and primarily work with volunteers to keep the costs low for the families they serve.
The Beacon – Located in Downtown Houston, the Beacon serves the population of people affected by homelessness by offering hot meals, showers, and laundry services almost every day of the week, year round. They rely on volunteers to keep the operations running smoothly and offer a positive experience to the clients they serve.
Meet the Directors
Nate grew up in Satanta, a small town in Southwest Kansas. During his senior year of high school he felt a calling to ministry, and went on to major in Religion and Philosophy with an Emphasis in Youth Ministry at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. It was through the Campus Ministries Spring Break Mission Trip that Nate was first introduced to CSM, and because of those experiences served as a City Host in the Summer of 2009. He finished his degree and worked as a Youth Pastor for two years and then spent the next 5 years working as an Admissions Counselor for Friends University where completed his Masters in Business. It was during his time working in Admissions that he met the love of his life - his beautiful wife Megan. They enjoy cheering on the Kansas City Royals, spending time with their two dogs Scout and Milla, and exploring the next adventure - whatever it may be! Nate is super excited to return to Houston to see God move in the lives of the people of the city and those coming to serve!
Fransesca was born in Miami and grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Messiah College in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Music and Worship. Her first experience with CSM was on trip to Boston with her youth group the summer after high school. The following summer she worked for CSM as a City Host in Philadelphia, and has since hosted in DC as well. Fran is very excited to serve Houston and experience how God is moving in and through those living in the city.