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  • When it began in 1930, the original Lena Pope Home on Washington Street in Fort Worth, Texas could barely contain the two dozen needy children and the passion of its founder. The country was in the worst economic slump in its history, but Lena Holston Pope was determined to fulfill the dying wish of her son—to “build a big mansion and fill it up with children.” Armed only with her dynamic spirit and the resolve of a handful of community leaders, Mrs. Pope carried out the promise to her son and became a mother again, this time to thousands of children.

  • Through the years, the Home evolved to meet the changing needs of children and the Fort Worth community. During the Depression, the Home operated primarily as an orphanage. In the 1940s, the Home took in babies whose parents were taking part in the war effort.

  • During the 1960s, foster care and adoption services were the main focuses of the Home. As the population shifted to older children in the 1970s, the dormitory style of living was replaced with group homes.

  • Tremendous program expansion occurred in the 80s and 90s. Therapeutic foster care services grew in the Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex, and Lena Pope Home began working with the school district to provide preventive, alternative education programs to at-risk students.

    As the needs of troubled youth and families increased, the Home expanded its continuum of care to better serve families. In the early 1980’s Lena Pope Home began providing alternative educational services in the local Independent School Districts to students who were in need of learning the skills necessary to demonstrate appropriate classroom behaviors, related social skills, and behavior that is conducive to furthering their education in the least restrictive setting. In the mid- 1980’s, Lena Pope Home began managing the therapeutic foster care placements of children referred by Child Protective Services.

  • The Marty Leonard Community Chapel, completed in 1990, allowed Lena Pope Home to extend its care to children’s spiritual lives. The Chapel serves as a symbol of the Home’s strong belief in the total well-being of every child.

    In 1990’s, Lena Pope Home added Foster Care recruitment and management as well as crisis intervention and family preservation services. Later in that decade, the Board of Directors wanted to have a greater impact on child well-being by focusing its programs on prevention and early intervention services and ceased operations in residential and foster care. Lena Pope Home became Lena Pope.

  • In 2008, Lena Pope opened Chapel Hill Academy, a tuition-free, public charter school located in southwest Fort Worth.

  • In 2012, Lena Pope entered into the early childhood education arena with its first Early Learning Center. And in 2014, Lena Pope concluded a $13.5 million capital campaign building new facilities on its west Fort Worth campus. In 2018, the Early Learning Center at UNTHSC opened and Chapel Hill Academy expanded through 8th grade.

  • In 2020, Lena Pope celebrated 90 years of service to children and families in the Fort Worth community. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lena Pope transitioned quickly to providing tele-therapy and remote services to continue providing the emotional and behavioral health support children and families needed. Like other points in its 90 year history, Lena Pope once again responded to community need ensuring that vulnerable children and families received the services they needed to thrive.

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