Buckner is not new to Houston. In fact, we have been in Houston since the 1950s. But the major focus of our work has been in providing senior adult living services through Parkway Place in Houston. Susan Phelps is the new Executive Director of Parkway Place and is doing a fantastic job.
Over the past year, I have been visiting Houston regularly to develop a circle of friends and supporters for the services we are providing for vulnerable children and families in Houston. We have provided foster care and adoption services but in recent years, in addition to foster care and adoption, we have added programs that preserve families and keep their children in their families of origin, rather than requiring foster care and adoption. We are stepping up our presence in Houston … but why?
Houston is the largest city in Texas, the fourth largest city in the nation with over 2.2 million in population.1 This city ranked fifth among the top 10 largest cities with the fastest growing economies.2 Houston is very generous too. Houston consistently ranks as the number one most philanthropic city in the nation.3 Houston is an ideal place to invest in the lives of vulnerable children and struggling families.
A view of Houston in global context must consider the phenomenon of global migration.
At the second decade of the 21st century, we are experiencing an unprecedented era of global migration. People from the east are moving west and people in the south are moving north. Dr. Paul Collier, professor of economics at Oxford University, suggests the economic gap between poor countries and rich ones is “grotesquely wide and the global growth process will be wide for decades to come.” He says the migration from poor countries to rich countries is set to accelerate suggesting “an economic disequilibrium we have been observing is of epic proportions.”4
What this means is that people in poor countries want an opportunity for a better life and in many cases, they are desperate to survive. This is the main reason they come to the United States. Do you remember the crisis at our border a few years ago when over 60,000 minors arrived at our Texas border?
Why does the topic of global migration, the welfare of vulnerable children, and the stabilization of families matter to Houston, to Texas, and to the citizens of our great state?
Next week, I will provide some answers.
1. “Top 10 Largest US Cities by Population” at
https://www.moving.com/tips/the-top-10-largest-us-cities-by-population/ accessed on January 22, 2018 at 10:23 pm
2. “Top 10 Largest cities with fastest growing economies,” at https://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2017/08/09/the-10-big-u-s-cities-with-the-fastest-growing-economies/#2f15c35064d5 accessed on January 22, 2018 at 10:29 pm
3. “Top 10 Charitable Cities in America,” at https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=5024 accessed January 22, 2018 at 10:34 pm
4. Paul Collier, (2013). Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 50.