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.

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 gardens & 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.

Young Agri Business Leaders of Houston

Please email Robert Yanez at Robert.yanez@houstonhealthfoundation.org   

Download printable flyer in English or Spanish.

The Young Agri Business Leaders of Houston is a project that seeks to empower and connect immigrant youth living in the neighborhood of Gulfton in Houston, to the process of urban agriculture, farming and entrepreneurship. This is an opportunity to engage immigrant youth in an urban agriculture enterprise. Youth will be exposed to leadership skills, effective communication strategies, business acumen, knowledge of native and ethnic crops, coalition building, team work, health literacy and inclusivity building. This is a pilot program we are excited to guide in Gulfton through the support of the Aetna Foundation.   

We are specifically targeting immigrant youth to encourage their self-empowerment in the following ways:

  • Cultural Pride: Selecting crops to grow that are representative of their cultural background

  • Learning to choose wisely: Youth will learn to leverage existing resources within the garden and the market.

  • Learning from the Experts: Youth will be immersed in training that will allow them to learn the skills needed to succeed.

  • Food Access: The project will increase availability and access to healthy food for youth and the community of Gulfton at large.

  • Entrepreneurship: Youth will develop and implement a youth led farm stand and partner with the Get Moving Houston Farmers Market where they will also be able to sell their produce and keep the financial gains, too.


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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Baylor College of Medicine Anti-Human Trafficking Treatment and Research Program

In Texas, an estimated 300,000 adults and children are at risk for human trafficking (Torres). Globally over 40 million people are being trafficked. This has vast mental and physical health consequences. 88% of victims reported accessing medical care from a healthcare provider during their time in captivity. (Lederer Wetzel)

The Baylor College of Medicine’s Anti-Human Trafficking Treatment and Research Program is responding to the public health crisis and egregious human rights violation of this form of modern day slavery.

The healthcare setting is a safe place for multidisciplinary, integrated identification of trafficking victims, stabilization of medical and psychiatric instabilities, and referrals to community partners.

Join in the Program's efforts to provide education to healthcare providers, treatment to victims and survivors and research to inform clinical care and public policy.

To learn more about our partners visit www.bcm.edu/humantrafficking or email recognizeht@bcm.edu.

The Houston Health Foundation provides fiscal management support to the Baylor College of Medicine Anti-Human Trafficking Treatment and Research Program.

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