Trel’s Home for Children, a Conroe-based nonprofit, is expanding its capacity to serve children in foster care with two new residential treatment centers in Magnolia and Spring slated to open in early April.

Ken and Taneshu Collier started the nonprofit in 2019 in honor of their late son, Kentrel. The organization began with one 90-day emergency shelter in Conroe, a refuge for children in foster care for whom the state cannot find a suitable placement.

While the shelter is licensed to care for 11 youth up to age 18, most children are ages 9-17, said Ken, the organization’s chief operating officer. He said the center has served more than 300 kids.

“It’s thriving. ... The kids are really doing phenomenal in our programs,” Ken said. “These kiddos may not live the same lifestyle as your kiddos live, or your nieces and nephews may live. However, we exist to change that narrative. We want to make sure that these kiddos can experience a simple vacation, ... Christmas, have Thanksgiving, birthday parties. ... We try to develop normalcy for them.”

Trel’s Home for Children cares for children for whom a suitable placement cannot be found, known as children without placement. Data shows that number jumped in 2020.
As of a Feb. 28 report to the Texas House Committee on Human Services by the Department of Family and Protective Services, 5.8% of children in the state’s care—1,196 children—resided in a residential treatment center, and 403 children across the state were in an emergency shelter.

Ken said Trel’s Home for Children cares for children from across the state.

“We have seen an increase [in need]; it’s why we decided to move forward with opening other facilities, because the need is just so grand right now,” he said. “We’re trying to find ways to do our part right now and be a piece of the puzzle.”

The new Spring center will be able to house up to 11 youth until age 18 or when a foster home is found for them, Ken said.

In Magnolia, the new center will specifically care for approximately eight youth with more intense needs, like psychiatric health, with capacity for up to 11 youth, Ken said. He estimates the center is one of three in Texas.

“That program will be focused on helping those kiddos learn appropriate coping skills; they’re not able to go to school ... so we’re able to provide school on-site for them,” he said. “So it’s going to be very unique, very intense, but very needed.”

To round out its programs, Trel’s Home for Children also launched a child placing agency component last summer, meaning the organization can license families to care for foster children.

“We see kiddos who we feel deserve a fair shake at life, so we wanted to be able to place those kiddos with phenomenal families,” Ken said. “There are a lot of families that are really interested in fostering kiddos, but for some, it’s too far to go to Houston or there’s no opening in an organization to take them. ... It just seemed like a win-win. We’re able to take this community and plug them into what we’re doing.”

Trel’s Home for Children

1110 N. Loop 336 W., Conroe