HISD Inaugurates Cornerstone Sunrise Center to Aid Homeless Students

HISD Inaugurates Cornerstone Sunrise Center to Aid Homeless Students

On Monday, October 9th, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) inaugurated the Cornerstone Sunrise Center, marking the second of six planned community centers established in collaboration with local assistance organizations. These centers aim to address specific needs of HISD students, families, and community members.

Situated at the Star of Hope Cornerstone Community Transformational Campus, the Cornerstone Sunrise Center will join forces with Star of Hope and Buckner International to support homeless individuals within the community. Services provided include housing, career development, counseling, health and safety resources, and more. Superintendent Mike Miles expressed his gratitude for the existing community efforts, emphasizing that the Sunrise Centers are designed to work in harmony with these ongoing initiatives, rather than replacing them.

The HISD currently enrolls approximately 8,000 homeless students, making the Cornerstone Sunrise Center a crucial resource for the district’s South Division. It will serve students in the Worthing High School feeder pattern with before and after school programs, academic services, and vital support for mental health and social-emotional well-being.

Superintendent Miles had the opportunity to tour the newly established center before addressing a gathering of organizers, donors, public figures, and community members who had gathered to witness the grand opening. The Cornerstone Sunrise Center features a range of facilities, including classrooms, recreational spaces, a food pantry, and offices dedicated to counseling and case management.

“The Sunrise Center at the Cornerstone Community Campus is uniquely suited to focus on homeless students because it is at the nexus of the Star of Hope Center and New Hope Housing, which is the transitional living center, and also the Buckner Family Hope Center,” said Najah Callander, Executive Director of Family and Community Engagement with HISD. “It allows us to bring much-needed services in a coordinated manner right where our families who are experiencing homelessness or are in transition from homelessness are, and it’s been a great opportunity for us to coordinate and work with a coalition of partners who already care about HISD kids and elevate and expand what was already being done. It’s been a great partnership to watch develop.”

The first Sunrise Center opened at the West Orem YMCA on Sept. 6. Four more centers are slated to open throughout HISD by November 2023, each with unique focuses curated to serve the surrounding community.

For more information on HISD’s Family and Community Engagement Department, visit the FACE website, and for more information on the district’s many valuable community partnerships, visit the Community Partnerships Department website.