History

COMPASS is a privately funded social service organization, founded in 1981 to aid the rapidly growing homeless population looking for help at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. Former Dean of the Cathedral, J. Pittman McGehee, and Canon John A. Logan, Jr. saw the need for something much more than the clergy could offer. They enlisted Cathedral member and guidance counselor, Kay White, to address the problem. COMPASS was eventually created as an independent 501(c)(3) agency, with Mrs. White as its founding Director.

The program first opened in a small Church office, and later operated out of a trailer on a downtown parking lot. Clients lined Texas Avenue every morning to see Mrs. White, the “street angel.” The number of clients in need of help was overwhelming, and the COMPASS house - “the little house with the red door” - was eventually built on the corner of Texas Avenue and Caroline St., serving us well for 15 years. Other than the homeless shelters, COMPASS is the oldest homeless service agency in Houston’s downtown/midtown area, and has been said to be the cornerstone for the other programs that followed in Houston.

In the early years, COMPASS and Kay White received the prestigious Jefferson Award, given for distinguished public service. President George H.W. Bush named COMPASS one of his original “1000 Points of Light.”

For over 32 years the COMPASS staff and volunteers have provided guidance, coupled with respect and professionalism, to people living on the margins of society, who are looking for direction toward a better life. We receive referrals from many of Houston’s other social service organizations, and are known for excellent case management services, transportation assistance, effective information and referrals, mailbox privileges, ID assistance, and access to comprehensive health care, through our Harris Health System GOLD CARD program.

Since 2007, COMPASS has offered the compassionate direction that has always been the hallmark of our work from our offices in the John S. Dunn Outreach Center at 1212 Prairie Street in downtown Houston.


Click here to view a special slide show
commemorating 30 Years of Serving
our Homeless Neighbors.

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© 2014 - 2017 Houston COMPASS, Inc. - All rights reserved.

GuideStar Better Business Bureau
Houston COMPASS, Inc.
1212 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002

Telephone: 713-229-8319
FAX: 713-229-8560