We were founded at the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis to care for children suffering from that dreaded, often fatal infection. Little Bryan Allen, whose mother contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion, was the inspiration for our name. In 1985, at only 8 months old, Bryan become one of the first Dallas area children to die from AIDS. Later, his mother Lydia and older brother Matthew also succumbed to AIDS.
Over the years, while we served more than 15,000 children, easing their suffering and helping the families lead fulfilling lives, medical advances and education shifted the need. Today, happily, few children are born with HIV/AIDS. Treatment for those few is significantly more effective, they can lead good, long lives.
But HIV/AIDS is still prevalent among adults, and their children are born into unstable, fragile households. These children can thrive within the special medically-managed care model that Bryan’s House has perfected. Moreover, that model extends smoothly to other medical needs of children. We have shown that our medically-trained caregivers can meet the needs of children with cerebral palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, and more.
Thanks to Bryan’s House, these families can hold down jobs, support one another, receive critical counseling and education, and create safe, fulfilling households where their children can thrive.
Stefanie Held: Celebrating 30 Years
In the mid 1980’s, it became known that a mysterious disease called AIDS was affecting children and families. Multiple family members were living with a disease which made them severely ill and led to a cruel death. Children were becoming orphans as a result of their parents having succumbed to the disease. Newborns with the disease were being abandoned and left to live out their short lives in hospitals. Society’s fear of the contagious nature of the disease forced this population of the infected to live in isolation. Their physical and emotional struggle was horrific. Parents needed daily assistance and children needed medically managed childcare but none existed.
Purely out of compassion, Stefanie Held, began to provide assistance to the infected children and their families. Together with Lydia Allen, whose family was affected by the disease, we created the first comprehensive refuge for infected families and children. Without any experience, financial backing or any models to follow they established a non-profit organization from the ground up. The unique program provided medically managed childcare and a support system for the families in a homelike atmosphere. The home which was in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas provided the children with daycare, temporary overnight care, and permanent residential care 24/7. The program was a flexible system that encompassed the varied needs of all that came for help.
Bryan’s House opened on November 20, 1988 and over the past 30 years has never wavered in its commitment to caring for thousands of children and their families who have unmet special needs.
Board of Directors
We are grateful to our servant leaders who devote their valuable time and expertise to helping us realize our vision. Through their advice, counsel, and often hands-on participation, they guide and support our mission.
Steven Upchurch, Chair
Ryan Friend, Past President
Liberty Capital Bank
Linda Hall, Past President
Donna German, 1st Vice President
Homer Brown, 2nd Vice President
L&H CPAs and Advisors
UBS Wealth Management
Texas Bank & Trust
Thomas Haskins Jr.
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
We are fortunate to have extraordinary staff members who bring not only deep expertise to their responsibilities, but also a profound sense of mission in meeting the needs of our clients. We are especially grateful to our phenomenal teaching staff, skilled in educating our special needs children and devoted to making a difference in their lives. As for dedication, three of our teachers have been with Bryan’s House for more than two decades!
The partners listed below augment our work by providing funds, in-kind donations, merchandise, printing, market visibility, medical care, legal expertise, food and beverages, transportation, events support, and many other valued goods and services.