Dear Women’s Home Family and Friends,

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you the below retirement announcement from our Executive Director, Paula Paust. I, along with the entire Board of Directors, express our tremendous gratitude and appreciation to Paula for her almost 25 years of dedicated service and visionary leadership to The Women’s Home.  Her compassion and desire to help women in crisis inspires us all.


Karen Ostrum George

President, Board of Directors, The Women’s Home


Dearest all,

It is with tremendous pride and excitement that I share with you my decision to retire as Executive Director of the Women’s Home.

Nearly 25 years ago, I joined The Women’s Home, committed to be a servant leader furthering our mission – to provide a voice and assistance to those who need it most. During my tenure at the Women’s Home, we have helped thousands of women through our nationally recognized WholeLife® Program; become a national model for other like-minded organizations; and expanded our services to provide a much needed sober living apartment complex serving women in the Houston community. Just this year, we have constructed and opened a new family apartment complex, the Adele and Ber Pieper Family Place, providing housing for working families and those that have experienced homelessness. Later this month, construction of the WholeLife® Service Center will commence, which will provide much needed services in the community to include a healthcare clinic and providing after-school and summer school programming for children. In addition, workforce development, substance abuse and mental health services will be available for adults.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of The Women’s Home staff and the Board of Directors. It has been my pleasure to work with Boards of Directors and donors that put so much of their personal time and effort into our organization over the years. I have been profoundly blessed to be a part of such an incredible team. There has never been a time when The Women’s Home executive leadership team, staff, and Board of Directors has been stronger or more stable.

I will continue to lead The Women’s Home until my successor is appointed by the Board of Directors in early 2017. A committee of board members led by Karen Ostrum George and past presidents Kay Walther and Susan Walker-Spalding is conducting the search for the right candidate to be approved by the Board. I will welcome the new executive director with open arms, providing assistance in any way to ensure he or she is positioned for success. In the meantime, be assured that we are moving forward with the vital work of the organization. With your continued support and commitment, the future of The Women’s Home remains very bright.

Thank you for your trust, confidence, and support over the past 25 years. The progress, growth, and accomplishments of The Women’s Home have occurred because of your efforts and support. It has been my distinct pleasure to serve you and the women in our community whose lives are being transformed.
Paula Paust
Executive Director

Sponsor a Model Contest

We encourage you to give generously in support of our volunteer models. Make a selection (or two) and donate to the cause.


Sponsor a Model Winner
Raises Over $10,000!

Kat KearnsKatina—or Kat, as most people call her—is an accomplished businesswoman, marketing professional and beauty industry expert. Kat is the owner of Renew Body Contouring and Med Spa, Houston’s top-rated address for body sculpting and contouring and leader in cellulite reduction. She is renowned for her trusted expertise in numerous anti-aging procedures and her clinic is frequently featured by local media outlets. Appearances include news and talk shows on ABC, NBC, FOX News and CBS. Kat has been, for many years, actively involved in several local charities such as Sunshine Kids, Children at Risk, Crohn’s and Colitis, The Kidney Foundation, Loaves and Fishes, Love146, etc. She donates a lot of time and services to help support these charities. Raising money for worthy causes is her passion.

Breaking Down Barriers

The Women’s Home conducts an on-going quality control process to insure that we are serving the vulnerable population of women in need, in our community.  After much discussion and thoughtful design, we are pleased to announce that we have lowered the barriers of admission to our Treatment program at our campus in Montrose.  Residents can now come to us for addiction and mental health treatment in a new 89 day intensive program.

We realize that beds for substance abuse care are virtually non-existent because facilities such as Riverside and VOA have closed down their treatment beds.  Funding became more scarce for these agencies and so treatment became more elusive for those women committed to shedding the horrible burdens of addiction. With an expectation of at least 60 days sobriety to enter our supportive treatment phase; we were turning away women more frequently.  We knew it was time to step up and address the crisis facing so many of our sisters in Houston.

With funding from HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and a new Mental Health initiative from the Methodist Foundation, we have designated 8 beds in our main dormitory for intensive substance abuse treatment.  Residents are enrolled in this tight knit group once they have successfully completed a medical detox, stretching a few days.  They, and their cohorts are part of a program that includes individual and group counseling, constant care and vigilant oversight by round the clock psych techs and special physical and spiritual wellness offerings.  It is our hope that our specially designed intensive program will result in the same high levels of success that we enjoy in our supportive program.

One of the features of the large grant awarded by the Methodist Foundation, is the ability to collaborate for medical, wellness and psychiatric care with Legacy Clinic.  We also work closely with Santa Maria Hostel for detox services.  We are grateful to Houston Methodist for making this new program possible.  They have responded to the communities’ dire need for expanded behavioral health services and their leadership is invaluable.

This intensive program was begun in February and we will stay actively committed to reporting on the results of this important addition to our services.


Services Expand at Jane Cizik Garden Place

New Therapeutic Counseling Services

Thanks to an exciting partnership with Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM), Jane Cizik Garden Place now has therapeutic services on-site for all interested residents. Individual therapy sessions will be provided by Carolina Luna, LCSW.  This expansion of services has been made possible by generous funding from Houston Methodist. 

Carolina is a Mental Health Counselor for Memorial Assistance Ministries with over 7 years of experience in the mental health and substance abuse field. Carolina has a Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Children and Families from Fordham University in New York City.  She has helped many individuals in various settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and non-for-profit agencies.

Carolina Luna Carolina has experience providing individual and group psychotherapy utilizing evidence-based approaches that focus on helping clients and residents make life changes towards personal goals. She pioneered a community youth program at her local church and coordinated weekly groups togive young people a place to belong. Those who know her would describe her as being compassionate and loving as well as being dedicated in all she manages.  She is excited to work with the tenants at Jane Cizik Garden Place and branch out to counseling the women of JCGP.  She will be providing services in the evenings after work hours to accommodate our tenants work schedules.

Carolina enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two young daughters, watching movies and taking walks in the park. She is fluent in Spanish and was born and raised in Queens, New York.

Jane Cizik Garden Place Presents Community Yoga

Services ExpandingWe are grateful for Jennifer Clements, certified Yoga instructor that has offered to volunteer at Jane Cizik Garden Place.  She was introduced to The Home, by mom-in-law Lisa Simon and she brings with her a donation from MFT Interests to purchase yoga mats and blocks for our tenants to use. Residents will have the opportunity to stretch their body, mind while learning powerful yoga poses and techniques.  This practice will undoubtedly help them  gain insights into the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and deep stretching. Sessions will be held every Monday and will be made  appropriate for all levels.

Case managers, Nena Chima and Ashley Stratton will participate with the community group, leading by doing.  Jennifer plans to take advantage of our stunning garden to hold the practice outdoors, weather permitting.  Of course, Community Yoga is also a great way to enhance fellowship and engagement at JCGP.

Jennifer has already shared some deep breathing techniques and stretches to the staff as she was oriented to her new volunteer role.  We are thrilled to have her join our team.

Bauer Women Society: Empowering Young Women Everywhere

The Bauer Women Society at the University of Houston is an undergraduate business organization that focuses on skill building workshops, career opportunities, leadership and philanthropic work to promote the personal and professional development of aspiring businesswomen. The Bauer Women Society had the opportunity to engage in an outreach event at The Women’s Home. The members had a great time volunteering and sorting through the donations at The Cottage Shop. This was a great way for the Bauer Women Society to connect with the wonderful people at the Women’s Home and find a new way to give back to the community. The Bauer Women Society strongly believes that giving back is very important because it demonstrates appreciation to the community, and Bauer Women love and appreciates their community.

Learn more here:

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Going Bold!

mechelle tran katie couric
Mechelle Tran (R) with Katie Couric


About a year ago, Mechelle Tran was introduced to The Women’s Home.  Not long after, she jumped in with both feet and made a huge difference within her network!

Asked to help make our 2016 Crawfish Boil successful, she decided to tap into vendors that supplied her family business.  Pho Saigon, a long- standing favorite of Midtown folks in the know, is Mechelle’s family business.  Since 1998, they have been serving steaming bowls of pho to thousands each month.  So it was a natural for Mechelle to go to their seafood provider, Marine Foods Express to help pay the crawfish bill!  And they did, becoming our Crawfish Bib sponsor….talk about keeping the event clean and fresh!


Their participation will go a long way to covering the cost of the 2400 pounds of crawfish needed for our event.  Mechelle has also reached out to several other restaurants for trays of food to satisfy our guests at the event’s VIP kickoff next week. Mechelle said she found it easy to ask for money to help our residents, because in working as a volunteer at The Cottage Shop she has seen first-hand where the funds end up and how vital they are to our mission!  Thanks Mechelle, for going bold for The Home.

You Made a Difference!

We are thrilled to announce that as of early March, we have met the million dollar Mabee Challenge! Thanks to everyone that donated at the end of 2015 and those special last gifts that met our match.

Our $27 million dollar campaign is quickly drawing to a close with less than $350,000 to go.

The roof goes on at another permanent supportive housing complex, owned and managed by The Women’s Home.  Soon more vulnerable families will have an incredible community to call HOME!

The Daring Way

About The Daring Way™

The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The method was designed for work with individuals, couples, families, work teams, and organizational leaders. It can be facilitated in clinical, educational, and professional settings.

During the process facilitators explore topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness. Participants are invited to examine the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are holding them back and identify the new choices and practices that will move them toward more authentic and wholehearted living.

The primary focus is on developing shame resilience skills and developing daily practices that transform the way we live, love, parent, and lead.


Who is Brené Brown?BRENE BROWN

  • Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
  • She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
  • Brené is the author of three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.
  • She is also the Founder and CEO for The Daring Way™ and COURAGEworks – an online learning community that offers eCourses, workshops, and interviews for individuals and organizations ready for braver living, loving, and leading.
  • Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 25 million viewers.



Some Reflections from our Residents

“The Daring Way helped me with the courage to go along with being strong.  It was an opportunity for me to talk about challenges and speak up without fear.  The conversations were in our safe community and it taught me to handle my shame.  I was so far down and it lifted me up.”

Bust Shot, woman looking into camera and SmilingLisa:
“Studying this work was a break out moment for me.  I found myself holding back and unable to share what I needed in therapy until I participated in the group discussions. The most important lesson for me was the chance to identify support; the important people that I needed in my life to recover.  I thought about who I needed to bring into my life. It was a new way to treat myself, talk kindly to myself….be joyous.”



“When they assigned us to read the first chapter, I read the whole book!  Reading the words were like sitting down with a warm friend.  I never had that kind of language before in my life. I learned that I was worthy of love and affection, right now, the way I am!  It was a refreshing new insight to escape my shame. It has made me curious to try new things and discover what feeds my soul.  With this discovery there are possibilities for hope in the future.  I can change things that were from deep down inside me and live an authentic life.”