Houston Health Department

Houston Health Department program will help more boys and young men of color thanks to million dollar grant

January 28, 2021

HOUSTON¬†-¬†My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Houston is ready to engage more boys and young men of color than ever before. This is the program’s fifth year of helping Houston youth of color succeed academically, socially, emotionally and financially. A million-dollar grant from a Houston-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) export company, Freeport LNG is paving the way for MBK to have a positive impact on more children in our city.

"My Brother's Keeper Houston is preparing young men of color to become leaders of the future and take our city to the next level," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "MBK partners with other community groups, agencies, and local schools to give participants a strong foundation.  The ultimate success of this program will depend on Houston businesses and individuals providing financial support through grants and donations like the one awarded by Freeport LNG," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Houston-based, Freeport LNG has awarded $1,000,000 grant over five years to MBK through the Houston Health Foundation. The money is being used to further the program’s mission and allowing them to provide resources and services to more boys and young men of color. The first $200,000.00 has already been put to work by the Houston Health Department team for the 2020/2021 school year.

“Freeport LNG is pleased to help advance the work of the Houston Area Chapter of My Brother’s Keeper and the Houston Health Foundation. We support its mission and we are confident that the organization is well positioned to manage this investment in the best possible way to advance people of color,” said Wendy Mazurkiewicz, Director Community Affairs, Freeport LNG.  “At Freeport LNG, we are committed to empowering people to raise themselves up through investments in education, health, community, safety and quality of life initiatives. Our partnership with the Houston Health Foundation helps us and the community achieve that.”

Most of the funds are earmarked for scholarships that current MBK participants and alumni will be able to use for post-secondary education and training including two- and four-year degree plans at colleges and universities. It can also be used for workforce training programs such as truck driving certification, HVAC air conditioning and barber/beauty licenses. Some of the funds will help pay for college prep test fees, application fees, books and supplies required for completion of training programs, and certification exam costs.

Technology is another major component of the grant since it’s extremely difficult to achieve success without easily accessible computers or internet. Funding will be used to help participants with job readiness training, resume writing and job searches. Twenty WIFI-enabled laptops will be acquired by MBK’s ReDirect program that provides intensive case management for youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and referred to HHD from the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.

MBK Houston continues to fulfill its goal in reaching young men of color in Houston. The Freeport LNG grant is needed to remove barriers for MBK program participants to access education and career development resources toward being productive adults.

MBK Houston is a cross-sector initiative housed within the Houston Health Department that leverages the expertise of nonprofits, agencies, educational institutions and other partners to coalesce around strategies, evidence-based methodologies, and programs seeking to increase opportunities and close disparity gaps amongst youth of color that persist within Houston communities. The initiative primarily focuses on early childhood development, improving health outcomes, developing a well-trained workforce, and building safer neighborhoods.

Freeport LNG is an LNG export company headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company’s three train, 15 mtpa liquefaction facility is the seventh largest in the world and the second largest in the U.S. Freeport  LNG’s liquefaction facility is the largest all-electric drive motor plant of its kind in the world, making it the most environmentally sustainable site of its kind. The facility’s electric drive motors reduce carbon emissions by over 90%. The Company plans to expand by adding a fourth liquefaction train, which has received all regulatory approvals for construction. Freeport LNG Development, L.P. was formed in 2002 to develop, own and operate an LNG terminal on Quintana Island, near Freeport, Texas. The terminal started LNG import operations in June 2008 and began LNG export operations in 2019. Freeport LNG’s limited partnership interests are ultimately held by Michael Smith, Global Infrastructure Partners, and Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.

The Houston Health Foundation (HHF) is the non-profit 501(c)(3) affiliate of the Houston Health Department. HHF works with donors, organizations and volunteers to forge public-private partnerships that bring valuable health services to the children and families of Houston's most under-served communities. Find more information about HHF programs.