safety. education. opportunity.


Heart House in the News


Lenita Dunlap, Heart House CEO, to speak at 2nd Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference to be held from 27-29 March 2019.

Read more

Learn More about FASSTT

Lenita Dunlap with the Heart House kidsHeart House was included in Frisco Style Magazine’s February 2019 issue. “A Place for Us All”, a feature story, highlighted Heart House’s services and holistic programming for refugee children as a model for communities like Frisco which in recent years has experienced a tremendous boom in cultural diversity.

Read More

FC Dallas and SNHU Partnership/ Renovation of Parent Resource Center

In December, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira and Brandon Servania represented the FC Dallas Foundation and partnered with Southern New Hampshire University to unveil the renovated Parent Resource Center and children’s libraries at Heart House.

Watch Here

Austin Bridge and Road, Longtime Heart House Funder Named Finalist of A Night of Light AwardsHeart House congratulates Austin Bridge &; Road for being a finalist of
the 2018 Night of Light Awards in the Partner of the Year Category. The award recognizes exemplary strategic
partnerships that have demonstrated significant change or created positive outcomes through such collaborative efforts between a corporate, foundation, or government entity. Heart House and Austin Bridge & Road joins CNM Connect, honorees and other finalists at A Night of Light awards Thursday, November 8, 2019 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Read More

Heart House is a proud recipient of a $50,000 grant from The Meadows Foundation’s recent funding cycle. This new funding adds The Meadows Foundation to the list of pre-imminent funders and philanthropic supporters for Heart House. Since 2000, Heart House has collaborated with area partners, nonprofits, businesses, and volunteers to provide holistic, year-round services such as learning clubs, art therapy and counseling to support the refugee and underprivileged children of Vickery Meadow. Annually, it serves 143 students, free of charge, to families.

Read More

FC Dallas’s Victor Ulloa Visits Heart House Dallas

Read More

Exciting Achievements and Change at Heart House Dallas

Heart House Dallas is a big winner already this year with oodles of awards and a new board president. Download the press release to read more.

LENITA DUNLAP: MAY HERO for Dallas Heroes Project

Lenita explains that refugee kids have unique needs. “They have dealt with the trauma of leaving their home countries. We do a disservice to the kids if we put them into school and situations and just expect them to assimilate. We need to create programs that value and celebrate their culture and who they are uniquely. We need to honor their history and their struggle.”

Read More


Saturday, May 5, 2018
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Come out to support Heart House 3rd-5th Graders! All Spring, they have been working on their stands, and on May 5, it’s their day to shine! The goal of Lemonade Day is for students to gain useful knowledge and experience entrepreneurship and leadership. They explore foundational aspects of the business world that will increase their social emotional skills like collaboration and communication—allowing them to grow in creativity. Students are currently finalizing their business plans, recipes and marketing plans. This March, they successfully raised $2,370 to support the materials for their stands.Generous funders and community partners have stepped up to build stands, provide business and marketing training, and provide pro bono printing services for the student- designed, branded t-shirts.A sampling of team names: Berry Cool Lemonade ™, Supernade ™, Summerade ™, Fruityade ™, Lemonade Heaven ™Click Here For More Information

REFUGEE CHILDREN IN AMERICA: Lost and in need of our compassion
Garnett News | Lenita Dunlap
“Refugee children are the most vulnerable in the world, often living in environments where they dodge bombs and land mines, and are susceptible to rape, hunger and death. As politicians in Washington haggle over the future of our immigration policies,  there is one group of immigrants that desperately needs assistance: refugee children.Imagine being forced to flee from your home and the chaos that would ensue as you resettle into a new country with a new language that you don’t understand. The weight of the trauma you carry is only intensified as you navigate through a culture you know nothing about.”
Bold Strokes to benefit Heart House

Photo Credit: Danny Fulgencio

Better Know a Neighbor: Lilly Neubauer
The proceeds from the event benefit Heart House Dallas, which is a nonprofit in Vickery Meadows. They work with the refugee kids on transition and intervention. They have afterschool programs where they work on homework. They will intervene on behalf of the students with DISD schools — be an advocate for the kid when his parents are overwhelmed and working and trying to get a handle on the logistics. What resonated with me is they have a mindfulness program where they help the kids with fixed versus growth mindset. They address trauma. They teach the kids self-soothing, self-care, breathing and mindfulness techniques that address the issue of the transition.

I’m an Atmos evacuation refugee who works with real refugees
The million questions in my mind of where we could go, what I would pack, how I would keep my child feeling safe are the same ones mothers of Heart House children had as they were unexpectedly forced to leave the lives they had created due to the violence of war. But they faced additional questions: Will the rest of my family survive? Will we ever see friends and loved ones again? Will we make it?

Lenita Dunlap, CEO, was selected to take part in the 2018 Dallas Public Voices Greenhouse Participants cohort.Public Voices is a bold national initiative to dramatically increase the public impact of our nation’s top and most diverse thinkers. Launched by The OpEd Project, the initiative is designed as a radical experiment around knowledge, meaning and what it takes to become influential on a large scale. In addition to The Boone Family Foundation, which launched its inaugural Public Voices Greenhouse in 2015, more than a dozen leading foundations and universities including Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Texas Woman’s University, Northwestern and The Ford Foundation have launched Voices programs. Thus, participants completing the three-month Dallas Greenhouse will join a prestigious network of Public Voices alumni and alumnae, allowing for knowledge sharing and innovation across disciplines and institutions, and making this one of the most powerful networks for public impact in the nation.

Inner circle: Helping with heart
As parents, Preston Hollow’s Lilly Neubauer and East Dallas’ Tiana Svendsen are dedicated to helping refugees, so much so that they established the artist collective Bold Strokes to support displaced families. Its first event, a silent art auction at Northaven United Methodist Church in September, raised $7,500 for Heart House. The Vickery Meadow organization provides academic and social-emotional programs to children who fled their home country.“When I think about mothers and children getting through crisis, I both know and can’t fathom their pain,” Neubauer says. “No matter what side of the fence — religiously, politically — you’re on, I just think there’s no such thing as somebody else’s children. That’s what got us fired up again.”
Click to Listen to Heart House CEO Lenita Dunlap’s interview with Better Living which aired on The CBS Radio Dallas Public Affairs Show. Better Living with Nick Carissimi, a show about the people and organization that make a impact in the Dallas area.
CQ_gLeHVEAAZ52DExciting News! Our students at Stratford Hill have a new playground. The Vickery Meadow community is a large diverse apartment based community with a lack of playspace for the children.
stratford hill students
Heart House provides such a space to keep children safe and further our mission of providing safety, education and opportunity for our students.

Heart House’s CEO Lenita Dunlap says she’s touched by the interest in this neighborhood.


“It says that you took the time and that you value me. So our hope and goal is that the kids realize that they’re valued,” she said. “We want you to grow in a good space, and that no matter where you came from or the environment where you live, you too deserve the same access to the same things that other kids have.”
Heart House CEO Lenita Dunlap

Check out more in the KERA News Article about the new playground  “Monkey Bars and Slides, Oh My! Vickery Meadow Kids Celebrate New Playground

Here’s What Nonprofits Would Like The Next Dallas Superintendent To Address

disd-administration-buildingAs Dallas continues the search for its next school superintendent, some non-profits and outside organizations are watching closely. These groups work to bridge educational, economic and social gaps in the district.

A few leaders spoke about what they’d like to see in the next leader of Dallas ISD. Check out the advice our CEO Lenita Dunlap and other leaders in the Kera Nonprofit News

“They have truncated educations, some education in different refugee camps. And so if they’re age 10, they’re automatically put into the fifth grade even though their reading levels are only on the first grade or the second grade,” Dunlap said. “Come sit with the families, come learn what’s going on here in Vickery Meadow. Understand that 8,000 people are coming to our state alone, into this area, and we need to prepare the teachers to adequately serve a diverse population.”