The Children’s Haven Association (TCHA)
is more than 70 years old!

Our earliest documented history is the undated minutes of a board meeting wherein participants discussed payment of 1948 ad valorem taxes. An interesting note contained in the minutes is a recitation that rent in the amount of $41.60 was being collected on the building and property. The following icons of East Austin history were leaders of TCHA in its early days:

T.C. Calhoun
(1905 – 1990)

principal of Kealing Junior High School and the 75th President of the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas

Mrs. J.C. Kavanaugh

unknown vocation

Mrs. Clara L. Dennis

teacher at the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute For Colored Youth from 1932-1957, and professor at both the Samuel.. continue reading

Mrs. J.B. Clark

business woman/beauty shop owner (on 13th Street between Chicon and Salina Streets, behind Harlem theater);

Mrs. Beulah J. Goins

TCHA President, teacher at Olive Street High School in Austin, Texas, and spouse of Rev. Joshua Van Buren Goins, Jr. (1879-1966),.. Continue Reading

Murray M. Owens

owner, operator, and primary mechanic at the storied Owens Garage (Founded 1926) on E. 13th Street in East Austin. Owens operated the garage until 1991.

Subsequent board membership

Subsequent board membership, as indicated in minutes dated 1965-1966, named the following racially integrated leadership. An integrated board of director was novel for its time:

Mrs. Willie Frazier

Mrs. Urissa Violette Christian

businesswoman and owner of Crescent Institute (Founded 1931), a beauty school and dormitory located next to Hillside Pharmacy on East 11th Street.. Continue Reading

Mr. Virgil C. Lott, Sr., Esq.

Texas Law School’s first African American graduate who composed and oversaw the legal organization and acquisition of the organization’s 501(c)(3) status;

Dr. Benjamin Fruchter

University of Texas, Department of Psychology;

Dr. Jackson B. Reid

Professor Emeritus, University of Texas Department of Educational Psychology.

Mrs. M. Lewis

Distinguished Emissaries

These distinguished emissaries for disadvantaged and at-risk children negotiated unsuccessfully for property tax exemptions on the property. Nevertheless, they persevered and secured license in 1965 by the State Department of Public Welfare as an OEO Day Care Program. This program, operated out of the current facility, was recognized as a uniquely integrated nonprofit that was unassociated with any church or other association.
More recent (1977-2021) board membership included 102 year old Past-President, Alfred D. Dotson, Sr., deceased, who also spearheaded fundraising and building expansion of another community center, the Conley-Guerrero Center.

L-R: Austin History Center Association Executive Director Jeff Cohen; TCHA Board Secretary, Patricia Calhoun; Marilyn Poole, Esq., AHCA Board Member; Nefertiti Jackmon, Program Manager, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development- City of Austin.

TCHA has facilitated programming of various nonprofits identified as compatible with our mission of aiding disadvantaged children and families, by active involvement and by donationof its own foundation funds.  TCHA has allowed the property at the Chicon location to be used by the City of Austin for commodities distribution, Travis County Health for administration of health services and vaccinations, and Safe Haven Child Development Corporation for early childhood education and day care/after school care for poverty-stricken children.  TCHA’s most recent undertaking is coordination of volunteers for its new tenant-program partner, Austin Threads, a non-profitthat provides free new clothing and accessories to referred at-risk foster and homeless teens.

Our Cause

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we are able to change lives of those we serve. Donate now to be a part of that change.