Meet Robin Bennett of Robins Haven Of Hope Inc in North West Houston
Today we’d like to introduce you to Robin Bennett.
Robin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started because my brother died of Hep C. There is a stigma and myth in the African American community about silence and don’t tell. Silence is a killer. My brother was an IV drug user and my mother said he passed away from a heart attack which was not true. I prepared myself in case my mother passed before my siblings and myself that we would all be buried in a proper way. I retained insurance for all those who couldn’t afford it. Unfortunately, my brother passed before my mother. We are baby boomers we were born in an era where we were proud to be who we were.
We went through the civil rights movement, segregation and we overcame it all. But there was one hurdle some of us were not able to jump over which took a lot of my good friends, successful friends and family. My brother became a victim of crack. First, it was weed then he graduated to crack and from there he would get his drugs any means necessary to get high by the use of IV drug use which led to blood-borne virus which led to Hep C. I started my organization Robins Haven of Hope Inc to bring awareness to Hep C. Hep is 5x more prevalent than HIV. Over 30 million Americans suffer from liver disease. I was a part of the Texas Liver Coalition where I served a Community Liaison. We served the community with free testing, education, awareness and resources on a disease that no one is talking about. I was able to return to my home state of Louisiana and was able to get the people tested for free and get them into the care they needed. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have received this help if I had not brought the awareness to Senator Gregory Tarver which brought the help and resources they needed to survive. Then, God pointed me another direction. Our young African American males and their relationship with the justice system is broken and in need of repair. God envisioned in my heart since I conquered my vision to help with Hep C. God showed me through Sandra Bland that we needed to show what was broken with the justice system. There was a need to address the justice system. I did this by a vision given to me by God, I called it unity in the community and the way to do that is by having a solution, education, conversation, understanding, respect for the people and respect for the justice system. Therefore, we were able to reach the community by bringing judges and law enforcement to bring awareness, education, and communication to the community instead of backpacks.
A week later, Deputy Goforth was murdered. We were able to all go and we appeared on CBS this morning. That’s the venture that started me working with the youth. I worked with the Klein Forest High School Athletic Department at Eagles Nest. I was able to foster and garner them through the school year with volunteer opportunities with Harris County Sports Authority, IWF and to be honorees at the SWAC Football championship. They also earned through volunteering the opportunity to attend the Lombardi Awards Ceremony. We also
volunteered for the NCAA Final FoursI then took the youth on a history tour.
In the month of February, I gave this generation a glance into Black History Month. We covered American History such as voting rights for women and minorities. We also celebrated Cinco de Mayo and all other things important to every culture.
I appeared on Fox 26 with one of my youth Daremas Bell. He discussed what it to be a champion to his community and his peers but also inside the walls and outside the walls. He went on to grande and received a scholarship to Texas A&M and he is now on an internship with Halliburton. The program I offer continued to grow at the school at a successful rate. I was able to connect with the Harris County Sports Authority to volunteer and help with the youth summer Olympics. We built floors that they used for the events. We were blessed to be introduced to Kinsmen Lutheran Church which provided us a weekly space Mondays and Wednesday’s. We volunteered with Kinsmen for the thanksgiving feast. We helped with Wreaths Over America for the Veterans laying the wreaths over the fallen veterans graves.
We were a part of Super Bowl 51 literacy program Read On, Lead On, Play on which lead up to the Super Bowl. I was finally blessed with a space for the youth. We were able to partner with them because they wanted to reach the community. We were able to do a community book drive. We collected over 5000 books and they were donated to the Barbara Bush Library and the rest of the books were donated to the Houston Public Library because they were in need of books. ATT sponsored us to take phone equipment to the women’s shelter. Dicks sporting goods donated to us to give to the Bob McNair Boys and Girls Club. We were honored for all our charity work by NFL Super Kids Super Sharing to attend Super Bowl 51 opening night. My youth and I was able to participate in all of the events. We were able to do the sneaker give away program with Former Houston Texan Andre Johnson where myself and one of my students did an interview with Reyna Reyna from KSBJ. My youth was chosen by Firstwatch Restaurant on their grand opening to be waitresses and host as a learning experience. We volunteered with Bass Master through Harris County Sports Authority. We are apart of Kinsmen Lutheran Church’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza. We had our second annual ceremony and banquet for honoring our students.
We appeared on Fox 26 to promote ordinary students doing extraordinary things who don’t think they have a platform. It goes to show you, you can take ordinary people and dig deep and find the best inside of them and bring out the most extraordinary person that they never knew was inside of them. I am one of those ordinary people that went on a journey that I had to dig deep inside of myself to find that extraordinary person. I started Robins Haven Of Hope with zero funds. I was a PA worked in Pathology but I tragically became ill and lost the function of my hands which performed a living for me when I would gross anatomy of the tissues. I had to find my way back into society. But God already had my path. It was already his plan to expose that extraordinary person to help the young people find that extraordinary person inside of them. I lost a lot along the way but I found something even greater. Our future, our youth, and young adults. This goes to show you no matter how low you spiral to the bottom if you believe in God and yourself. He will always help you find a way back. That’s my story. The community and my passion and love for our children in our community. I am self-funded with little donations but I don’t let that stop me from helping our children. That’s what keeps me going to my drive and my passion. Sometimes God won’t allow you to worry about financial things. He will take the wheel and maneuver you exactly where you are supposed to be and where you’re supposed to be. The last semester we did M.D.D (Motivation, Determination, Destination) those were the 3 seeds I implanted into them. I gave them a layer of motivation letting them know they can do and be what they want. The second layer was determination letting them know they can do it. Lastly, their destination, they will reach it and they will pass that torch onto their peers and they too will reach success in life. I planted a 4th seed which to Just Be Me. Just be yourself, do you, do what’s right and listen to the whispers even if it causes you to have less friend and popularity. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you done it right and you never have to look back. This is my story, just being me, Robin Bennett.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our 4 foundational pillars are Resources, Education, Awareness, and Prevention, REAP. Our aim is to build stronger communities by focusing on the youth and working to break the cycle of, by changing the mindset. We are teaching our children that they too will “REAP what they sow”, and challenging them to own their future. The events organized by Robin’s Haven of Hope, Inc. provide opportunities through motivational speakers and volunteer projects for the students to hear and see first-hand what can be accomplished when you take charge of your life in spite of your circumstances.
I am most proud of every single thing that God has allowed me to touch has been a success. That comes from the effort of the community and myself working as a team.
What sets me apart from others is my drive and my passion.
What were you like growing up?
I was never a follower growing up. I listened to advice given by those in authority positions that guided me in the right direction.
- Website: www.robinshaven.org
- Phone: 281-546-1327
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Robins Haven Of Hope