Human Services

The Summerhouse

Where Lives Blossom

Houston, TX


The Summerhouse fills gaps by providing quality support for young adults with disabilities, assisting their families, and educating their communities. Our credence is Community: We value people. Regardless of someone's ability, disability, ideas, culture, or background, we find strength in the diversity of each person and their family. Collaboration: We are a team with one vision and one mission. As we work together and develop greater partnerships with others who share our values, we achieve sustained success. Commitment: Excellence and professionalism are crucial to all levels of our organization. Integrity, honesty and ethical behavior guide us through all endeavors.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Donna T Fruge

Main Address

1814 Columbia St.

Houston, TX 77008 USA


Young adults, disabilities, employment, job training, day program, community engagement





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Transition and Vocational Program

Shred for Independence

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of hours of training

Population(s) served

People with disabilities

Related program

Transition and Vocational Program

Context notes

This includes the vocational enterprise, Shred for Independence.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The following goals for The Summerhouse over the next five years are the organization's response to an important and critical need in order to change community conditions that make community full community life possible for every person with a disability.

The Summerhouse will provide model services and supports for people with intellectual disabilities and their families directly and through partnerships in the areas of employment, recreation and leisure activities, community involvement, residential community living and daily living skills that promote independence and quality of life.

The Summerhouse will continue to provide a stable, highly qualified and motivated workforce that actively delivers the organizations' mission.

The Summerhouse will be a highly visible, well-respected, nonprofit organization that attracts increased numbers of volunteers and higher levels of contributions to support operations and an endowment fund along with a planned giving program.

The Summerhouse will expand programming to offer more services and supportive group housing in the community where it resides.

Through the expanded and augmented services of Vision 2020, The Summerhouse will develop in the following areas:

• Incrementally increase membership to 40
• Build on all aspects of our already successful programming
• Increase motivated and skilled staff
• Vocational programs and business enterprises will help members realize a greater contribution to the community

While it has worked beautifully up till now, our current modus operandi must change. To cross the threshold of growth, we must implement a new and improved modus operandi. We will need to redefine the roles and reallocate the resources of existing staff and hire additional staff members. These changes will need to be managed intentionally. Redefining and reallocating will introduce new levels of responsibility and focus, new methods of communicating, and new forms of accountability. The Summerhouse's current operational infrastructure is a strong foundation on which to build the new modus operandi and take those necessary steps to “change for the better."

The Summerhouse staff, families and Board of Directors are aligned in anticipation and believe that we are positioned to grow inwardly and outwardly. Because so many Houstonians are desperate for the type of program we offer, the opportunity will come knocking at our door. Thankfully, the city of Houston has the resources to help prepare us to fill the gap. The Summerhouse Strategic Plan Vision 2020 addresses all areas for future growth .

Project indicators will include:
Are we on budget?
Are we on schedule?
How much money has been raised?
How much more money needs to be raised?

The Summerhouse opened its doors with a very basic idea in mind: young adults with intellectual disabilities are deserving of high quality programming that supports independent, active, engaged lives. With this simple the founding team of The Summerhouse began to build creative, powerful programming for those deemed not teachable. We set some very ambitious goals and having achieved those goals, are blazing a trail for how young adults with intellectual disabilities can be served well while touching the lives of clients and staff in powerful ways. Through assessment, observation, client and parent testimony, the growth, development and success experienced by each one of our clients in our short history has been remarkable.

We developed and implemented our own vocational curriculum and assessment tool that has enabled each one of our clients to develop a skill set to allow them to work at The Houston Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Pathways and Goodwill.

Through Shred for Independence, one of our vocational training programs, we have secured contracts with other nonprofits for documents destruction services supporting community involvement and volunteering.

The Summerhouse is accepted and welcomed as a contributing community member which allows each one of our clients to actively participate with their family, friends, neighbors and other valued relationships in creating a life that is joyful and fulfilled.

We currently have a waiting list for admission to our program and need a larger footprint in order to meet the vast need of this population.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

Chamber of Commerce

NISH-Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Severe Disabilities

American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR)

The ARC of the United States



The Summerhouse

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?