On March 29, 2017 Vogel Alcove will celebrate 30 years of caring for the most vulnerable, neglected members of our community – homeless children and their families. The agency’s highly-skilled teachers, social workers and therapists help children cope with the trauma of homelessness and give parents the support they need to improve their families’ lives. More than 15,000 children and families have been served since Vogel Alcove opened its doors in 1987.
Vogel Alcove traces its roots to the Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless (DJCH), a collaboration among more than 20 local synagogues and Jewish organizations. The Coalition decided to create a child care program for homeless children, at a site called The Alcove.
In 1989, the program was named Vogel Alcove in honor of DJCH President Thelma Vogel and her husband Philip, who were killed in the crash of Delta flight 1141. DJCH Vice President Doris Budner became President, and she played an active role in the child care center until her death in 2003.
In 1998, a Board of Directors was created and given authority over Vogel Alcove. The agency no longer has a religious affiliation, though many DJCH participants are among its steadfast supporters.
Karen Hughes became President/CEO of Vogel Alcove in 2011, and in 2014, the agency moved to its current location south of I-30 and adjacent to Dallas Heritage Village, in the former City Park School, with the capacity to serve up to 200 children daily.
“Vogel Alcove would not exist without the vision and generosity of Thelma Vogel, Doris Budner and the DJCH,” said Ms. Hughes. “We are proud to build on their legacy of caring for Dallas’ homeless children and families.”
Vogel Alcove provides free services for children ages six weeks to 12 years old within three major programs: Early Childhood Services, School-Age Services and Family Support. These services include everything from infant care to homework help to speech therapy to case management, and much more.
The experiences of early childhood directly affect intellectual, social and emotional growth. When these experiences are traumatic, as in the case of homelessness, the results are dire. Vogel Alcove’s trauma-informed care helps counteract these effects and gives homeless children tools to succeed in life despite their circumstances.
Parent Danielle L. described her experience with Vogel Alcove as “a light at the end of my really dark tunnel.” She added, “Thank you so much for taking care of and teaching my baby.”
More than 3,000 children in Dallas go to sleep at night without a home of their own. Clearly, the work of Vogel Alcove is as relevant and necessary as it was 30 years ago.
1985-1987 Formation of the Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless (DJCH), led by Thelma Vogel (Coordinator) and Doris Budner (Vice-Coordinator)
March 29, 1987 Our first child care program for the homeless began operating at The Alcove
March 1988 Thelma received the Public Citizen of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers
Aug. 1988 Thelma Vogel and her husband Philip were tragically killed in a plane crash. Doris Budner became President of the DJCH.
June 1989 The child care program was officially named Vogel Alcove and moved to a new building at 1110 Browder Street.
Jan. 1992 First Vogel Alcove Arts Performance Event, featuring Itzhak Perlman
Nov. 1995 Dedication of a new Vogel Alcove building at 1100 S. Ackard Street.
Aug. 1997 Vogel Alcove received NAEYC accreditation.
Dec. 1998 Vogel Alcove leadership was restructured to consist of a Board of Directors made up of individuals from the community.
March 1999 Doris Budner was named Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.
April 2002 The Vogel Alcove building was named The Doris and Lawrence Budner Childcare Center.
June 2003 Doris Budner passes away. On the day of her death, Doris Budner was honored with a proclamation from the City of Dallas for her leadership, advocacy and accomplishments in serving homeless children and families.
2006 Vogel Alcove enters a partnership with Headstart of Greater Dallas.
2011 Karen Hughes becomes Vogel Alcove President/CEO.
2014 Vogel Alcove moves to its current location at 1738 Gano Street, in the former City Park School.
March 29, 2017 Vogel Alcove celebrates its 30th anniversary.