See to Succeed

The See to Succeed initiative aims to improve vision and vision related health, education and social factors by performing annual vision exams and providing eye wear.

It is modeled after the City's five-year partnership with the Luxottica Group Foundation's One Sight program which collaborates with area public school districts and charter/private schools to provide high volume walk-through services in community-based settings.

Poor vision can affect a child’s emotional, neurological and physical development. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average lifetime cost of vision impairment is about $566,000 per person. It is important to catch vision problems early on and put in place preventative measures that will allow children the opportunity to see clearly.

The See to Succeed program was piloted in 2011 and since then the vision clinics have seen over 47,000 Houston-area students and have given over 43,000 pairs of glasses. Just one two week outreach event provides eye screening and glasses to over 2,000 students. The Foundation along with HDHHS is moving forward with a strategic partnership to reach a target of 12,000 children annually and ultimately ensuring all children in Houston have the corrective eye-wear they need.

Our partners include the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Essilor Vision Foundation, Onesight, Walmart, University of Houston, San Jacinto College, Berkeley Eye Center, public and private schools, as well as community volunteers from all over the Houston Area. Together we are moving forward with a strategic partnership to lead efforts to establish and maintain a standing site for vision care that will expand to reach thousands of children and vulnerable populations.



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Project Saving Smiles

Project Saving Smiles reduces the prevalence of tooth decay in under-served children and remove barriers to learning.

This is accomplished by providing dental screenings, dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and oral health education free of charge targeting Houston’s at-risk 2nd graders who are enrolled in schools with 70% or more students on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.

The 2001 Dental Needs Assessment in Harris County revealed 45.9% of 2nd graders had untreated decay. It is known that children who suffer from oral health problems cannot learn well and miss days from school. According to the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness. Additionally, children who experience pain from tooth problems are likely to be distracted and unable to concentrate on their school work.

Since its inception, Project Saving Smiles has provided 50,000 dental screenings, 77,706 dental sealants, 24,779 fluoride varnishes, and oral health education free of charge to second graders enrolled in a free or reduced lunch program across Houston.

The PSS partners with the Texas Department of State Health Services, Good Neighbor Healthcare Center, Women of Rotary, Latter Day Saints Missionaries, Harris County Public Health, Texas Oral Health Coalition - Houston Region, higher academic institutions, school districts, private industries, and non-profit organizations. Partners share in the planning process, resources distribution, and implementation of PSS.



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My Brother's Keeper houston

MBK Houston is a movement to improve outcomes and reduce opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. 

MBK Houston is a movement to improve outcomes and reduce opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. The City of Houston accepted My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge in September 2014 and officially launched the Local Action Summit on November 13, 2014. The Local Action Plan (LAP) was released in May 2015, establishing 23 interventions across all six (6) milestones. Houston joins several metropolitan areas around the country united in moving the needle to improve performance and long term success for these children.



MBK Houston is focused on bringing systemic changes across the six pillars of success.


  • Enter School Ready to Learn
  • Read on 3rd Grade Level by the 3rd Grade
  • Graduate High School Ready for College or Career
  • Complete Post-Secondary Education or Training
  • Enter the Workforce Successfully
  • Reduce Crime and Violence and Provide Second Chance Opportunities


MBK Houston supports a community-wide strategy whereby diverse organizations and individuals utilize their strengths, leverage their existing resources and work together to implement collaborative solutions.



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Community nutrition

The Community Food Security Initiatives’ frameworks help individuals understand the connection between healthy eating and chronic illness, develop volunteers as champions for healthy eating, especially in communities with food access barriers, strengthen the capacity of community organizations to develop their own healthy living programs, and identify and address policies that contribute to food deserts. The initiative includes both the Farmers Markets and Community Gardens programs.

According to CDC’s 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 12% of high school students in Texas are obese and 78.7% ate fewer than five servings for fruits and vegetables per day. Our community gardens encourage communities to share and utilize open spaces that have been created to grow organic and nutritional produce families to cook at home. Over 2,400 local families are provided with access to our gardens and given additional education on the nutritional value that comes from eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Community Gardens Program has raised a total of 72 garden beds which have produced over 27,000 of produce and services 12 communities through our Multi-Service Centers. We want to continue to make healthy foods available to the citizens of Houston and with your help we hope to reach more communities and help raise awareness on how healthy food choices can make a difference in obesity prevention.



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The Houston Health Department's Assessment, Intervention and Mobilization (AIM) initiative reaches out to targeted communities to engage stakeholders, gather information about the community, disseminate information, link clients with services, build community capacity, and enhance the skills and readiness of Houston Health Foundation staff.

The Houston Health Department (HHD) is the public health agency for the City of Houston, with a 2010 census population of 2,099,451. Houston is racially and ethnically diverse. Residents are 25.6% white (non-Hispanic): 43.8% Hispanic, 23.7% black, 6.0% Asian, and 1% other. Houston is also a large city, with 579 square miles of land area.

Since its inception, HHD has conducted ten AIM projects. The door to door outreach campaign has reached 63,000 households, and has resulted in 4,708 service referrals for assistance.

The AIM initiative consists of a three phased approach:

  • Assessment- determines needs and resources by compiling a community profile, conducting surveys, and interviewing local leaders and key community members.     
  • Intervention- identifies and engages community stakeholders; sends teams into the community to go door-to-door to disseminate and collect information; links clients to service providers; and provides resources, such as food baskets, to those in need of immediate assistance.     
  • Mobilization- builds community capacity to make improvements, such as implementing neighborhood action teams, clean-ups, home repair programs, Neighborhood Protection Corps, and other functions.

HHD has frequently collaborated with other City, organizational and community shareholders to accomplish public health goals. These include City of Houston agencies such as the Police, Public Works and Engineering, Solid Waste management, Neighborhoods, Animal Regulation and Care, as well as Parks and Recreation Departments. HHD also relies on other community-based organizations, civic organizations, and community members to assist in meeting Touch Phase goals and needs.



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The Houston Health Foundation also supports selected cross-organizational collaboratives working to advance the mission of better heath for our community.

Houston Recovery Initiative

The Houston Recovery Initiative is a community-driven coalition transforming the way we think about recovery; moving from episodes of treatment into a larger recovery-oriented continuum of care. 

We create opportunities to collaborate with over 300 agencies across Houston, working together since 2010 to aid those in our community affected by substance misuse. This important work is carried out through volunteer work-groups:


  • Adolescent ROSC
  • Behavioral Heal Integration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Faith Based Recovery Advocacy
  • Housing
  • Recovery Advocacy
  • Recovery Community Centers & Peer Support
  • Working with Communities



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