Rock Haus Foundation provides opportunities for developmentally disabled

Founded in 2016, the Rock Haus Foundation was established to support the work of the Comal County Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities Center and provide additional services to community members with disabilities.

The center is housed in a former schoolhouse that was built in 1927 and offers skills training, social activities and additional health services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

It is affiliated with the Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental disabilities Center, and approximately 30 adults visit the center regularly. The staff also provide services to 30 individuals in area nursing homes, said Area Director Donna Brown.

“Times have changed to where we don’t look anymore at what a person’s disability is. ... We now focus more on what are their capabilities, and we focus on what they want, what are their dreams and what drives them to come here everyday,” Brown said.

Many who utilize the center have jobs in the community, while others participate in activities such as gardening with local master gardeners and have music and art classes led by volunteers.

“Everything is geared toward them being as independent as possible so that they have empowerment in their life and they have choice in their life,” Brown said.

The Rock Haus Foundation has played a key role in organizing the gardening and arts activities. More recently, foundation leaders have been working to raise funds to upgrade the center’s facilities and to purchase iPads for individuals to continue to have access to virtual services, said board vice president Joyce Fox.

The foundation initially planned to construct a new facility to replace the current building, but the coronavirus pandemic led the board to repair the existing structure and make it more functional instead, Fox said. She added the foundation has put a new building on hold because it is not a good time to ask for money.

Foundation board members hope that plans to improve common areas, create better accessibility throughout the property and restore old sections of the building will allow the center to serve more individuals and offer more opportunities for community volunteers.

Though the center is not currently offering in-person activities, virtual music lessons and other small group activities have continued, and the board is working to plan additional programming for when the center can safely reopen, Fox said.

“Our goal is to continue the music therapy, maybe add exercise programs,” she said. “We’re just finding there’s a lot that we can do.”

Rock Haus Foundation

511 E. North Street, New Braunfels

817-266-6833 or 830-214-5778
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.