We like highlighting organizations that work to improve the community in EaDo and local neighborhoods, especially when the impact is as far-reaching as BakerRipley House.
The non-profit organization provides services that help low-income families, engaging with several communities in the process. We got a chance to ask BakerRipley representatives to tell us who they are, what they do, and to share some life-changing stories of current members.
What is BakerRipley’s mission, and how does the community center benefit local residents generally?
BakerRipley’s mission is to bring resources, education, and connection to emerging neighborhoods. As one of the largest nonprofits in the Houston region, we serve nearly 600,000 people across 65 locations. We benefit the community with our work by strengthening community engagement, improving the financial well-being of community members, and increasing educational attainment.
What kind of services are provided at BakerRipley Ripley House?
Through our six community centers, BakerRipley offers immigration assistance, adult education, English as a second language, basic skills workshops, free tax prep, workforce and entrepreneurship resources, and programs for youth and seniors.
Some other services include community events like food fairs, enrichment classes that include cake decorating and piñata making, and nutrition and health services like Zumba classes and health fairs.
For more details on available services, be sure to contact your local community center. You can find them here.
If someone was looking for a volunteer opportunity, what kind of volunteers is BakerRipley looking for?
We are looking for volunteers passionate about making a difference in the lives of their neighbors! Right now at BakerRipley Ripley House, we are in need of volunteer instructors to teach:
- Dance (ballet)
We could always use extra hands giving out food at our monthly food fairs and other events. There are also opportunities to work at our front desk, prepare tax returns for families, work in our senior center, and much more!
You can register and learn more about all of our opportunities here.
The following stories illustrate how BakerRipley House changes lives:
Lucia, a single mother, originally started coming to our centers by attending the Jewelry Making and Cake Decorating classes with her mother. Lucia’s parents decided to go back to Mexico because they were experiencing financial struggles here in the U.S. and made the difficult decision of letting her daughter go back to Mexico with her parents. As Lucia struggled with the idea of not having her family with her, she depended on the center to keep her distracted by continuing to take our classes. While attending our classes, one of the instructors took notice of her creativity and skills and informed the staff about Lucia’s work, urging them to bring her on as an instructor. The staff discussed the possibility of instructing with Lucia, and she agreed! Now, Lucia has her own class where she is able to teach her marvelous skills to students ages 14-16. She completes every crafting project alongside her students and when her projects are done she sends them to Mexico for her daughter to feel connected with the artwork her mother is making in Houston. Lucia’s very talented and passionate about her work. We are happy that Lucia trusts us with her story and honored to be a system of support during this difficult time. She uses her love for her daughter as motivation to work hard and knows that they will one day be reunited.
Retirement is a significant milestone we all hope to achieve. In Patricia Torres’ life, retirement meant an extension in her learning by exploring the unknown. A chance encounter led her to our community center when looking for a senior program for her husband. A couple of programs caught her attention and she decided to take classes as a hobby, not knowing she was going to enjoy the programs and resources at BakerRipley like our piñata course. She was able to identify talents that she didn’t know she had, which boosted her self-esteem and gave her the motivation to keep on learning. She was even given the chance to start her own crochet club where she has the opportunity to help other members discover their talents and empower other women to find their abilities and skills.