Meet Daisy Stiner, the manager of one of Houston’s oldest community centers

HOUSTON – Daisy Stiner has spent her career trying to bring support and relief to underserved communities.

Through her work as the director of the Julia C. Hester Home in Houston’s Fifth Ward, she focuses on helping families have better housing and employment opportunities in the Houston area. Houston.

Founded in 1943, Hester House is one of Houston’s oldest community outreach centers.

“It started as a hub, a meeting place for residents of the community,” Stiner said.

“It was a safe haven for neighborhood kids to come to after school,” she added.

Stiner said she was inspired by her older brother to get into social work in the early 1960s.

“I attended HBCU Prairie View A&M University, where I was nurtured and encouraged to get out into the world and make it a better place,” she said.

Stiner said his career and experience opened his eyes to some of the things that need to change. She said disadvantaged communities, which are often communities of color, need better access to basic needs.

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“It’s amazing to me that in this wealthy place that we live in called America, there are children who are being denied basic needs in terms of what’s available to them,” Stiner said.

Her job has been to secure federal funds for families who need their homes repaired. She also helped secure daycare permits for black and brown communities so parents could go to work knowing their children were safe.

“We have a very vibrant youth development program where we provide after school care for the kids and after school care for the summer,” Stiner said. “We have a state-of-the-art gymnasium where children and seniors participate in recreational activities.”

During the pandemic, Stiner shifted gears to help provide technology for children to learn remotely. She also focused on economic development in neighborhoods that face more challenges than others.

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“For family members who are unemployed, we have our referral services where they can get the services they need to provide stability for their family,” Stiner said.

“We’re proud to be a part of it and to be a beacon for the community,” Stiner said. “For the services they need, we try to provide and supplement them, so that families can achieve part of the American dream that families are entitled to.”

For more information on the Hester house, go to hesterhouse.org.

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