Founding Story


13 Jul: Putting Down Roots

In 2013, KIPP Texas Public Schools invested over $25 million to convert the old Sharpstown General Hospital into the KIPP: CONNECT flagship campus. This 155,000 sf building and 7-acre campus includes a Primary, Middle and High School. When opening the school, KIPP knew they had put down roots in a vibrant and special part of town. Gulfton/Sharpstown is the largest immigrant and refugee resettlement neighborhood in the most diverse city in the country.


13 Jul: Building a Community

Based on the unique dynamics of the Gulfton/Sharpstown community, KIPP wanted to make sure every student was set up for success. They knew the best way to do this was to support a student’s family, teachers, and community. So the KIPP co-founder reached out to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Legacy Community Health and the YMCA of Greater Houston for help.


13 Jul: Bringing a Purpose-Built Community to Houston

In 2013, these four organizations landed upon Purpose-Built Communities as the model they wanted to emulate in Houston. Together, in 2016, they created what is now known as Connect Community, a non-profit focused on bringing organizations and local residents together to collaborate and align their efforts so that they are able to mobilize a broader network of assets to meet needs and strengthen the overall community.


13 Jul: Working Together

All four anchor organizations along with other community partners work together to align missions and improve the overall health and wellbeing of Gulfton/Sharpstown. Connect Community acts as the “community quarterback” or coordinator amongst the partners to ‘bust silos, connect dots and herd cats’ ensuring that all partners have their North Star pointed towards the same outcomes.