Valero donates $1,000,000 to help establish new community center

CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare in collaboration with the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word-Houston announced a major initiative to improve the health and well-being of underserved and low-income residents in Houston’s East End with an unveiling of the renovation of the St. Austin Community Center.

Renovating St. Austin Center will allow Houston’s East End community, including Manchester, Lawndale/Wayside and Pecan Park, increased access to health and social services and will provide community members access to a continuum of resources in one physical space. The building will house a relocated and expanded CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic in addition to a wide array of complementary services which will be determined after collaborating with the community on what social services will benefit the area.

“At CHRISTUS we are driven and guided by the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare is honored to partner with the Sisters to improve the health of the community.” said Kara Hill, President, CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare.

The $6.1 million project was made possible by a sharing of space from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and a capital campaign led by CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare. Valero has generously provided the impetus for the community center with a $1,000,000 commitment. Valero, with a refinery near the Manchester neighborhood, has a strong commitment to the communities where we operate. Valero values the new and expanded health, social, and educational services that will be more available to the community through this new facility. Rob Moore, Valero Vice President and Houston Refinery Manager says Valero sees this partnership as instrumental to their mission of helping underserved people in the Houston area.

“Our support for this clinic demonstrates our commitment to the residents of Manchester and all of Houston’s East End,” said Moore. “We are especially proud to be able to share in bringing life-helping, life-changing services to the community.”

CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic, which provides nearly 20,000 visits to 6,500 area residents annually, is currently at its physical capacity to provide services. Moving to St. Austin will enlarge the clinic and allow the clinic to increase the services provided and number of persons served.

“With this increased space we will be able to increase the quantity and quality of services provided to a greater number of people, ensuring accessible, high quality, affordable health care to more local uninsured residents.” said Sr. Rosanne Popp, Medical Director, CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic

When completed, the St. Austin Community Center will be more than 30,000 square feet. Currently, L.I.F.E. Houston and St. Austin Literacy Center are located at St. Austin Center. During construction, set to begin in the fall of 2018, they will be relocated and move back to the St. Austin Community Center, when construction is complete in late 2019.

“We, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, eagerly look forward to this collaboration and expansion to better respond to today’s and tomorrow’s needs as a great expression of Christ’s own love for all people.” said Sister Kevina Keating, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.