In August of 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected twenty-three communities to receive the transformational demonstration grant called the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). The Heart of Texas Region, one of eight rural communities selected to be part of this demonstration program, was awarded $2.23 Million by HUD, to develop and implement comprehensive approaches, projects, and strategies to ensure all youth have a safe place to call home.

The Klaras Center for Families, a program of the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network (HOTBHN), designed and developed 5 YHDP programs which are to be launched on October 1, 2020. These 5 programs include:

  1. The Heart of Texas Transitional Crisis Housing for Youth (HOTTCHY) Program: HOTTCHY is designed to be safe, inclusive, and affirming for youth ages 16-18, offering them temporary Transitional Housing with a full panoply of supportive services, to include skills training, counseling, nursing, mentoring and peer support, with the overall goal of transitioning youth into permanent housing. Access to HOTTCHY is available 24-hours, 7 days a week.
  2. Drop-in Opportunities Bolstering Engagement for Young adults in the Heart of Texas Region (DOBEY): DOBEY offers the Heart of Texas Region a much-needed Drop-in Center for young adults between the ages of 18-24. DOBEY Drop-in services prioritize a quick transition out of homelessness into permanent housing, as well as access to social skills support services, mental health skills training support, employment support, with education support services, and more.
  3. Supports to Aid Rapid Rehousing and Skills for Keeping Young adults Engaged (STARRSKYE): A fundamental goal of STARRSKYE is to reduce the amount of time a young adult, aged 18-24, is homeless by offering Rapid Rehousing services. STARRSKYE will offer scattered-site housing where a young adult is able to be a leaseholder of a housing unit located within the community. Case Management services will also be provided to connect young adults to additional supportive services to assist in obtaining permanent housing and achieving self-sufficiency.
  4. Homeless Young adults Gaining Entrance into Housing & Bolstering Engagement and Access throughout the Region (HYGEH BEAR): HYGEH BEAR is a mobile, multi-disciplinary Navigation Team with the focus of assisting youth as they move from homelessness to stable housing. HYGEH BEAR will serve youth between the ages of 16-24. HYGEH BEAR prioritizes the support of a quick transition out of homelessness into permanent housing, as well as providing other essential life-domain supports.This Navigation team will also provide triage to those youth finding themselves entering homelessness and connect them to diversion and emergency shelter as needed. The team will provide basic needs, linkages to mainstream services, coordinated entry assessment, and navigation of systems via progressive engagement centered around youth choice.
  5. YHDP Planning Grant: The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network (formerly Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center) has been selected by the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition to serve as the YHDP Lead Agency and is thus charged with the administration of the YHDP initiative in the Heart of Texas Region. This grant includes supporting funding of the YHDP Project Director, coordinating YHDP and Youth Advisory Board (YAB) meetings (The YAB is comprised of youth with lived homelessness experience that provides leadership and consultation apropos of all YHDP Programs), and ongoing evaluation and monitoring of YHDP projects, as well as implementation of the Coordinated Community Plan.


The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network (HOTBHN), through KCF, is expanding services in the effort to radically support behavioral health access and equity in the Heart of Texas' rural regions. The To Infinity and Beyond Initiative is our vision for filling identified service gaps in its rural sectors. This Initiative will vitally expand and support rural behavioral health services by instituting the following programs: 1) reducing barriers to access by creating a rural transport system; 2) increasing rural case management services for all ages; 3) expanding Substance Use Disorder services for all ages; 4) strengthening rural peer services, and youth crisis services; and 5) augmenting salary for rural personnel to recruit and retain rural staff.