Meet Melissa Jackson, our new Houston Single Parent Family Program Director

Melissa Jackson

Melissa Jackson

Houston We Have Lift Off!

Melissa Jackson is excited about her new role as PCHAS’ Houston Single Parent Family Program Director.  Originally from the South Side of Chicago, as an adult, she moved to New Mexico and attended college there. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 2006 and a Master’s degree in the field in 2008. Since then, she has worked with a wide variety of clients, including those who suffer from substance abuse, mental health and homelessness.

Very determined to bring social work to an underserved population, while still a student in New Mexico, Melissa began the first social work internship at the Adult Probation Parole Department . She worked as a probation officer with the Third Judicial District Drug Court Program.  This gave her a unique perspective, and also made her a pioneer in the field of social work in that state. Not all social workers can sit without judgment and listen and learn from people arrested for serious charges, but Melissa obviously has a gift for this, and found her work in corrections to be very rewarding.

After moving to Texas, she worked with the Department of Health and Human Services in Austin, and as a Social Worker at the maximum security state hospital in north Texas. Most recently, she served as a Long Term Case Manager for the Salvation Army overseeing their transitional living program.

Melissa says that all of her work experiences, in addition to being a single mother to her three-year-old daughter, Journey, have prepared her for her new responsibilities as a PCHAS Single Parent Family Program Director.

The Single Parent Family campus in Houston is designed as a kind of small planned community that provides much more than safe homes for single mothers. It is a community surrounded by support not only from Melissa and other PCHAS staff, but also PCHAS volunteers and the congregation of St. John’s Presbyterian Church. The campus is built on church property.

“This is a very unique program, being that the case manager is on site,” Melissa says about the residences.  “Everything is provided to help families begin a new journey, to begin a new life for themselves and their family. We will be able to help these families not just survive but thrive. The community formed on this campus will have a positive effect long after the families move into their own homes.”

The Houston Single Parent Program’s campus is scheduled to open this fall. Watch the PCHAS blog for more information about the dedication and open house. Learn more information about the Single Parent Family program.

By Thomas Knight