Established in 1979 as a Chinese language school, the Chinese Community Center has played a leading role in welcoming newcomers to America and in creating opportunities for everyone to contribute to the Houston community. Our Center serves over 10,000 families annually. As the Center celebrates over 33 years of service, it continues to expand and improve the services contributing to its mission: “to bridge East and West by enriching families with educational, cultural, and social service programs.” The largest Asian-led social service agency in Texas, the Center received its first public funding in 1989 and became a United Way of Greater Houston agency in 1991. Our current location in the heart of Southwest Houston is a 57,000 sq. ft. facility on 5.7 acres of land.
The Chinese Community Center is a comprehensive social service community center in Southwest Houston, Texas, that provides support programs to a diverse population. The Center conducts educational and social service programs that help new immigrants settle into their new communities and acculturate, gain personal independence and economic self-sufficiency and quickly become able participants and productive, contributing members of American society. The Center strives to meet the evolving needs of the community through culturally competent and affordable social service programs and administrative support, and providing multi-purpose facilities for local service organizations and community members.
Our key initiatives include youth programs that provide quality childcare, after school, summer camp, language, and leadership activities for over 1,000 participants aged 1-year to 18-years old. Our adult education programs aim to equip immigrants with skills to succeed in the workforce, through year-round English classes, citizenship classes, specialized job training, financial education, home-buyer education and other courses. Our senior programs provide access to employment, social services, health promotion, and social activities. Community and cultural programs provide language, cultural, enrichment and recreational opportunities for youth, adults, and the whole family.
Reflecting the diverse communities it serves, the Center’s collaborative partners include the Childcare Council, Collaborative for Children, City of Houston Mayor’s After-School Achievement Program, Harris County Department of Education, Houston Community College System, Houston Read Commission, H.O.P.E. Clinic/Asian American Health Coalition, Texas Workforce Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, among many others. Collaborations among community organizations assist CCC in maximizing delivery of our various services to the community.
In 2010, CCC became the site of Houston’s 2nd Financial Opportunity Center (FOC), a place where families can gain access to employment counseling, job training, financial education and coaching, public benefits access and other critical services in one central location at CCC. Through the coordination of a variety of services, CCC aims to help families make a long-term commitment to increasing income, decreasing expenses and acquiring assets. Also, as a partner of United Way’s THRIVE, we collaborate with other local agencies to maximize the benefits of our financial stability services to the community. As an FOC and a THRIVE partner, we are constantly expanding our programs to ensure we meet the developing needs of community members to become financially successful.
CCC is a HUD certified housing counseling agency and is the only HUD approved agency in Texas with the ability to provide linguistically appropriate services in Chinese and Vietnamese. CCC is in collaboration with corporate partners in the financial and housing industry and regularly presents free seminars and community workshops to enable individuals to gain a better understanding of the home-buyer process. CCC is also a partner of the City of Houston’s Home-buyer Assistance Program for home-buyers who must complete at least eight hours of home-buyer education to receive down payment assistance.
In 2011, the Center achieved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Fewer than 10 percent of childcare centers are accredited nationwide. CCC submitted candidacy materials for review, which documents satisfactory performance on at least 80% of the NAEYC accreditation criteria (i.e. curriculum, classroom environment, administration, professional development standards). Program enhancements include the introduction of additional family involvement activities, the hiring of several classroom teachers, and a completely redone playground.
With support from the National Council on Aging, CCC recently became a Benefits Enrollment Center, the first of its kind in Texas. The Benefits Enrollment Center is a one-stop shop for helping people sign up for public benefits, such as Medicaid, Gold Card, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and many more. Public benefits provide essential supports that lift vulnerable people out of poverty and help them gain access to food and healthcare. Having all of these services in one location helps minimize the transportation, language, and administrative barriers that can inhibit people from enrolling in the benefits they need. Through CCC’s Benefits Enrollment Center, clients can receive:
- Information about public benefits
- Comprehensive screening to determine which public benefits they are eligible for
- Assistance with applying for benefits
- Updates on the status of their applications, and
- Reminders about application deadlines and other requirements.