There's More to the Story: Q&A with Joy Horak-Brown
December 2, 2019
2019 gave TMF Grants Ministries opportunities to witness many milestones in the life-changing work of faith-based organizations in Texas, New Mexico, and beyond. This Christmas season, we want to share the success and perspectives of leaders whose organizations are excelling at meeting needs of all sizes in their communities.
We begin by shining a spotlight on New Hope Housing in Houston, where CEO Joy Horak-Brown and a passionate team are delivering on an ambitious mission and vision: to provide life-stabilizing, affordable permanent housing with support services for people who live on very limited incomes. New Hope Housing previously has received grants from the Heartspring Methodist Foundation who recently combined with TMF. In 2019, TMF's Grants Ministry awarded New Hope Housing a grant for its resident services program. This program works closely with residents of Reed Road housing development to give them opportunities for spiritual and social well-being based on a foundation of wellness, learning, and community. In this Q&A, Joy Horak-Brown explains their accomplishments since 2018 and why there is always more to the story of those experiencing poverty and homelessness.
What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2019?
New Hope Housing has much to be proud of! Each year brings its own accomplishments and 2019 has been a year of refocusing. In 2018, we opened two new properties, both “firsts” for New Hope. NHH Harrisburg is our first mixed-use property with office space and retail space, and NHH Reed is our first property for homeless and at-risk families. This year we were able to focus on helping our residents settle into their new home and assess their need for services.
Describe the qualities of the people who are contributing to your organization's success. As a leader, how do you sustain and nurture these qualities?
Loyal, passionate, forward-thinking, dedicated, caring, concerned about their community and their city. New Hope Housing nurtures these qualities in our donors by hiring staff who think the same way.
Can you share an experience or observation that influenced how you pursue your mission?
New Hope Housing’s developments sit at the nexus of art, architecture, and nature. An observation once made by our Board of Directors was that quality housing is significantly related to the way people feel and the amount of change that will occur. When a person feels good about where he or she lives, change overflows into other areas of their life. New Hope’s staff is dedicated to building with quality architecture and design, operating the properties with a high level of professionalism and oversight, and providing resident services to match tenant needs.
Do you have a favorite quote, Biblical or secular, what is it, and why?
“I know it’s real because I’m not on the street anymore.” – Aungrey Horton
“There’s More to the Story” is a mission awareness campaign launched by New Hope Housing to bring light to the stories of our residents, challenges of housing, and innovative solutions. Volume 1 of “There’s More to the Story” walks through 12 difficult, but inspiring stories – stories that chronicle abuse, abandonment, catastrophic illness, hard luck, homelessness, and incarceration. In Volume 2, we share how these stories contribute to our understanding of the barriers underserved populations must overcome. They help us discern what we need to do to help our most vulnerable citizens and inspire us to our calling. Aungrey Horton, whose quote is shared above, is a resident featured in “There’s More to the Story.”
What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Opportunity. In 2020, our work will be magnified as we open New Hope Housing Dale Carnegie (170-unit single resident occupancy) and break ground on a new property geared toward working families with low incomes. In addition, we will be locating land for even more housing and meeting with others around our city to see how collectively we can tackle our affordable housing crisis.