It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we share with you the news of the passing of our Executive Director, Patricia ("Tricia") Herren. Tricia's passing comes after a brave and valiant ten-month battle with cancer.
Homes with Hope was founded by Tricia in 2003. Tricia had volunteered with the youth from The Vineyard Church of Houston and in 1995 spearheaded a youth outreach to teenage children in a local CPS emergency shelter for a period of months, followed by an outreach to a second CPS shelter. These experiences birthed in Tricia a desire to do more to impact the lives of children who were abused, neglected or abandoned and to serve them in connection with the local church. A vision was born for a new model of foster and adoptive care - an entire community taking responsibility for the children and providing support for the foster and adoptive families who directly care for them. Her decision to create Homes with Hope was truly a leap of faith. She left behind a thriving interior design business and dived in with entrepreneurial spirit, working without pay her first year and tackling a steep learning curve to receive a state license for foster care.
Tricia devoted herself to Homes with Hope for over 17 years. Leading a small nonprofit presented many challenges and Tricia was required to wear many different hats, from contract negotiator to fundraiser to bookkeeper to family screening and orientation and many more besides. Nevertheless, she remained steadfast in her commitment to Homes with Hope and the vision God had given her. Homes with Hope was the outward expression of who she was and what she knew and believed about a good God.
Tricia started her days in conversation with God, always seeking where God was leading Homes with Hope. She loved to share the numerous stories of the history of Homes with Hope -- where an obstacle appeared or there appeared no path forward and God consistently showed up and made a way. Her workdays were filled with contemplation and conversation about how to be most effective in helping as many children as possible. To that end, she was fearless in asking others to give of their time, talent and resources. She was convinced that nothing was worth more than providing a child the opportunity to live in a warm, welcoming Christian home. She took a keen interest in each child who was brought into care and in every family who opened their home to care for the children. She rejoiced in each and every adoption that took place. Tricia's legacy will live on in the beautiful lives and smiling faces of the children who were rescued because she heard God and chose to act.
Tricia loved to travel, especially by car, taking long, wandering, aimless road trips (with spontaneous stops along the way) as well as local Saturday drives - driving "the Loop" and trips to Chapel Hill were favorites. She loved to play card games and spend time laughing and sharing humorous anecdotes in the company of her innumerable friends. She was also a watercolor artist who expressed herself through various paintings, especially landscape scenes of places from her travels.
Please know that the vision, mission and daily work of Homes with Hope continues on even though we will deeply miss her leadership. She often spoke of the next generation continuing the work and ministry of Homes with Hope. Though the transition came more quickly than she or any of us expected, the staff and the board of directors are fully committed to continuing the mission of Homes with Hope as we know Tricia would want and expect us to do!
Details about a celebration of life will be published when final plans are made.