Beyoncé joined community leaders in Houston on Friday to show support for The Knowles-Rowland House, a housing development that is being built for the city’s unhoused population. The Houston native, who is in her hometown for the latest stop in her Renaissance World Tour, was also joined by her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson as she attended the kickoff event for the project, Fox 26 Houston reported.
The Knowles-Rowland House, named after Beyoncé and her former bandmate Kelly Rowland, is expected to provide housing for 31 unhoused people in Houston. The 21,000-square foot facility, which includes three stories, will be built on the campus of St. John’s Downtown Church, Houston Public Media reported. Bread of Life, a local nonprofit organization which provides food, other essential items and health-related services, is leading the $10.5 million construction project.
Monique Williams, director of partnerships and development for Bread of Life, praised Beyoncé for taking time to stop at the kickoff event.
“That was exciting for all of us,” Williams told Houston Public Media. “She’s a busy lady. She’s doing a couple of other things this weekend. For her to pause and just kind of return home and to be in this space with us and to hear again what more will be done and to see her legacy, I think it was wonderful for everyone to be in that space and share that with her.”
The facility, formerly known as the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, opened in 1999, but it sustained damage when it was struck by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Four years later, a fire broke out and caused more damage to the center. Since then, the facility has been used as storage. Rowland and Beyoncé previously funded the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, but it’s not clear if they’re doing the same for the latest project.
In July, Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a $7.2 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant for the project. Bread of Life is also providing part of the funding.
In addition to serving as a shelter, the facility will now be a center for job skills training, as well as support for physical, mental and behavioral health. The Knowles-Rowland House is expected to open in 2024.