Mission & History

The mission of Boys & Girls Harbor is to provide healthy, comprehensive residential care for children and families in crisis. For children who are experiencing family hardship, neglect, abandonment or abuse, the Harbor provides a family environment in a home setting. Through its programs, the Harbor strives to help children learn to overcome self-destructive patterns, break cycles of abuse, develop social skills, learn responsibility, and work towards becoming healthy, happy, and productive members of society.


Boys & Girls Harbor was founded in 1947 by the members of Houston’s Downtown Optimist Club with the support of many prominent Houston business and civic leaders.  Texas Governor Ross Sterling and his wife donated their 21,000 square-foot mansion in Morgan’s Point, Texas overlooking Galveston Bay to the Optimist Club to be used as the first home for “Boys Harbor”.  

As approaches to caring for children changed, the Harbor’s Board of Directors chose to sell the mansion with its large orphanage-like environment and relocate the campus across the street on land partially purchased from and partially donated by the Sterlings.  In 1962, four family-style homes were built, with additional buildings and support facilities added over the years.  In the early 1980s, three new brick homes were built for girls and organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc.