The Harris Center Foundation established an annual Staff Idea Funding Opportunity in 2020 awarding funds to support projects that enhance care delivery for the people we serve. Every year The Harris Center staff is encouraged to submit their applications for programs that will continue to positively impact the lives of those living in our community.  

You may recall, the Foundation Board had a $100,000.00 “budget,” but were so impressed with the 4 finalists presentations that they voted to fully fund all four for a total of $145,112.00.

Home Sweet Home ($33,472)  
The Harris Center operates 5 Residential Group Homes.  Program services are funded by Medicaid for training and care of persons with IDD.  Due to funding limitations, Foundation funding will ensure that IDD Residential Homes are not only safe but also attractive and look and feel like homes --  not institutional settings.





The Harris Center Resiliency Team ($40,840)  
Foundation funding will support organizing a team of 25 Harris Center employees to form the Harris Center Resiliency Team.  The Team will  be available to respond to crises in the community and throughout Texas.  The Team will be comprised of Licensed Practitioners of the Healing Arts (LPHAs) Peer Support, Care Coordinators, and Master Level Clinicians.  Fifteen members of the team will be trained as a team in Trauma Informed Care, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Training (EMDR), while the entire team of 25 will be trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).  Psychological First Aid, Substance Use and Mental Health Training for Disaster Response Management (STORM), and other training will enhance the team’s ability to respond to crises.



Project H.E.A.L. (Healing through Entrepreneurship Arts and Leadership) ($40,800)  
Project H.E.A.L. is a collaboration between the STARS Specialized Therapies program and the Coffeehouse program.  This collaboration is unique as it combines the specialties of behavior analysis and psychology.  The project is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary path to healing.  Project H.E.A.L will focus on treating mental illness, encouraging mentorship between peers, and purpose through entrepreneurship opportunities.  Project H.E.A.L. will address these objectives in three ways:  1) Treat underlying mental health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, and trauma) by creating a special art therapy program.  2) Create mentorship opportunities within the Coffeehouse program through project management.  3) Create a quarterly market, inviting participants to sell their art and goods to the community.  Project H.E.A.L. will become a program of innovation by working with individuals with IDD/autism and co-occurring mental health issues such as anxiety and depression through art.


Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) Enhancement Project ($30,000)  
The S.T.A.R.S. Clinic offers Positive Behavior Supports program, Specialized Therapy program, and the Feeding Disorder program.  PBS has the lengthiest interest list and serves individuals over age three with Autism and/or IDD to increase independent living skills.  This project will provide a structured caregiver training manual for children with ASD and disruptive behaviors and will provide training for caregivers.  A calming waiting area for onsite sessions will be created for children with sensory processing issues to help them be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.