In November 1985, the Social Action Committee of Congregation Shearith Israel visited the Austin Street Homeless Shelter. The group was deeply moved
by the plight of the homeless. As a result, committee members decided to address the problem, creating the Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless (DJCH). The Coalition decided to focus on providing child care for homeless children, at a location called the Alcove. The Acting Coordinator of the DJCH was Thelma Vogel, and the Vice Coordinator was Doris Budner.

Tragically, on August 31, 1988, Thelma Vogel was killed in the Delta Flight 1141 plane crash at DFW Airport. Doris Budner became president of the DJCH and oversaw significant expansion of the Alcove’s facilities and services. She and her husband Larry created the Arts Performance Event, which became the agency’s premiere fundraiser. By the time Doris Budner died in 2003, the Alcove had grown from serving 15 children from one homeless shelter to serving 8,500 children from nearly 20 shelters.


A 1998 study by the Center for Nonprofit Management led DJCH to restructure its governance of the child care center and its social services.
The Vogel Alcove Board of Directors was created and given authority to oversee the operations of the child care center and its programs. Today, the organizations that comprised the Dallas Jewish Coalition are no longer represented on the Vogel Alcove Board, though many remain supporters. In 2008, the agency’s name was changed to Vogel Alcove, and the DJCH disbanded.


Karen Hughes became president and CEO of Vogel Alcove in 2011, and in 2012, capital campaign planning began for a new, larger building for Vogel Alcove. The new facility, housed in the former City Park School, opened in Spring 2014. We now have the capacity to serve up to 200 children each day, and continue to be specifically dedicated to serving the needs of homeless children.