SEARCH Homeless Services Will Be Moving from Midtown to This New Building in East Downtown

Rendering of Proposed New Employment Services and Care Headquarters for Search Homeless Services, 2015 Congress Ave., East Downtown

Here’s a rendering of the new employment services and care center Midtown-based nonprofit SEARCH Homeless Services is just about ready to start building on a 10,000-sq.-ft. vacant lot at the northwest corner of Congress and St. Emanuel. The site is one block east of the Hwy. 59 overpass, at 2015 Congress Ave. Arch-Con Construction will begin construction on the design by Studio Red Architects after a groundbreaking ceremony next Monday. The nonprofit plans to leave its current HQ in the fifties Mod building at 2505 Fannin St. in Midtown for this new East Downtown perch. In addition to offices, the smaller, 27,105-sq.-ft. facility will include a chapel, training rooms, workspaces, and a terrace.

Rendering: Studio Red Architects

Congress & St. Emanuel

23 Comment

  • There are definitely enough homeless people on that corner on the weekends. I dont think they are looking for work though. What a great addition to stunt the growth of the east end.

  • What’s the word on what will become of the property they are leaving behind?

  • From my understanding, this group does good work. It seems their goal is to help people that want help and get them back into the workforce. That’s a lot better than saying “here’s a check and a cell phone”.
    Hopefully they’ll make enough on the sale of their midtown digs to afford an expanded place with even more offerings.

  • So… will this get torn down when TXDOT re-routes I-45?

  • So, Mr. Clean, you stopped and asked these folks whether they were looking for work? And you, of course, familiar with the services Search, Inc. offers, right? And you’re at least acquainted with, say, Pacesetter Personnel at 2614 Caroline, which is the usual magnet for those seeking day labor in that four block area?

  • Ah, I see now. Everyone was talking about getting rid of the Pierce and moving the bus station, and here I was wondering how that would solve the underlying homeless problem. Turns out all we have to do is move them over to EaDo and so everyone in Midtown can go back to ignoring them. That’s super urban!

  • That’s a prime block a couple of blocks from the Metro station and stadiums. And it adds to an existing concentration of homeless facilities nearby; Fishes and Loaves, that women’s shelter place…do we start calling this the Homeless District…or maybe Homeless Borough to give it a big city feel…HoBo for short.

  • @MC19 … As the location on Fannin stunt the growth of mid-town?

  • That’s 10,000 sqft of Property Tax-Free prime real estate!!!

  • HoBo – love it. Repeat that a few times and the realtors will snatch it up as a new marketable district

  • That’s only 3 blocks away from Star of Hope. Can we call this area the “Homeless District” please?

  • by my reading of the TX DOT re-imagining I45 plans, that lot and the loaves & fishes across the street will eventually disappear if they widen and reroute the highway and bury it through downtown. that said, the building will probably make that corner less of an eyesore, though i think concentrating several places in a corner of one area is a bad idea…

  • Oh great, the last council member for District I used to fight putting more homeless services in District I since, according to him, something like 80% of them are already concentrated in that one district, but the current council member could care less.

  • That’s what cities do they move all the homeless services to one place (to “consolidate”) then completly destroy that part of town. I’m sure this was politicial, to remove that place from this area. Good for Midtown not so good for the Eastside. SA completly totaled the Near Westside with that damn Haven For Hope. That area is the most dangerous in the city now. It’s tragic.

  • I really hope you guys arent trying to call this area that disrespectful name as a way to mock the homeless…if so you should be shame, considering your behind a computer screen not doing a thing to help! Lol thats sad. Glad to see SEARCH getting new digs…we need to call the new concentration something uplifting like the TLC District or 2nd Chance City!

  • We really need a lot more Housing First beds for the homeless in Houston. SEARCH probably does do great work, but they can’t solve the problem by themselves.
    I wish MHMRA of Harris County would buy what’s left of the Southwest Inn, the adjacent defunct Ramada, and the Red Carpet Inn nearby. That would be a lot of rooms, and the buildings could be divided into a men’s home, a women’s home, and a family/children’s home. The area where the hotel burned, could be rebuilt as a community center and treatment facility. It’s a good location for this. No residential areas are nearby. The car dealerships and low-end car stereo places aren’t going to complain. Zuma Fun Center might have a problem, but that location is pretty ghetto to boot. Best of all, it’s right near MHMRA of Harris County’s main offices.
    Of course I don’t foresee this happening. I guess we’ll just have to settle for small facilities like SEARCH. They do great work, but I just don’t see small facilities like that making a dent in the Houston Homelessness problem.

  • Concentrating the homeless problem in one area is referred to as “Skid Row”. Drug dealers know where to concentrate their efforts and the Hooverville situation under US-59 near the bayou is ridiculous. Making the NE portion of downtown into the “Homeless District” is a big step backwards for houston.

  • I vote to call it the “Urine District”.

    It’s interesting that in countries where vagrancy is illegal, the homeless do not exist, they miraculously find solutions like living with family, working labor jobs which provide rudimentary housing (groundskeeping etc.). Some end up in government institutions but not as many as one may think (those places are not that comfortable by design) , which I admit we do not have but need to bring back.

  • I clicked on this just to see what Common would say.

  • I see more homeless hanging around near Lord of the Streets (Services) than the SEARCH building. It’s a very nice building. Good for them. The Eado/East End growth will continue.

  • CS- Now days is cool to shorten and combine. UrinDis

  • I work with a local nonprofit leading the way in changing the path for Houston’s homeless. I and my organization are excited about SEARCH’s new building. Since major changes began in 2012, increased collaboration between homeless service organizations has lead to a 50% decrease in overall homelessness in Houston, Harris County and Fort Bend County from 2011-2015. While SEARCH does not offer housing, it is a vital and active participant in the Housing First model that we are employing as a community to end homelessness. SEARCH provides excellent case management to homeless individuals moving into permanent housing with the aim of stabilizing them in housing so they do not return to the streets. I understand the problem of optics, and the troubles of co-locating services, but it honestly makes the path to housing so much easier for a homeless individual. And, with our successes and current housing rates of chronically homeless individuals and homeless veterans, the goal is to end both of those by the end of this year. After that time, our system should be able to house any individual within 30 days of their becoming homeless.
    Everyday, homeless service providers and leadership are faced with tough decisions and try to work with communities and neighborhoods in good will. I think SEARCH’s move will be a great thing, and hopefully their new neighborhood will come to see it that way as well.

  • FYI, I’ve tried to work with SEARCH and others for tenant placement. We had to stop. It wasn’t the tenants so much as all the rules and paperwork to take the tennats. It just wasnt’ worth it. How they worked didn’t mesh with our workflow. They’re all very paperwork intensive. No online payment. Extra tax forms, etc.
    If they could work with property owners in a more modern fashion, they’d find they had more buildings to chose from. I think as it stands, they’re left with only a handful of properties that’ll take the tenants, and those places are built around taking these tenants and likely are not the best places — vs. being placed in a “normal” complex with a larger mix of ‘traditional’ tenants.
    Just another case, IMO, of good intentions gone bad. They want the owners to do a ton of work to make sure their clients are getting a ‘good’ place, but that work ends up only being done by a small handful of people that make serving these clients their main business.
    Exact same thing happens with our vets with the HUDVASH program. We used to take it. But no more.