Welcome to Bryan's House.

Empowering children and their families for 35 years.

In a world where children with special needs face limited options in life, Bryan’s House is the only organization that empowers their families by removing barriers to care in order to serve these children through education, health, advocacy and social services because we believe that every child has a right to thrive, no matter what.


To provide children with special needs and their families with trusted case management, educational, therapeutic and medically-supported care.

We accomplish our mission through two umbrella programs:

Direct Onsite Programs
Integrates on-site nursing with high-quality education, therapy and developmental care geared to each child’s needs.

Offsite Programs
Provides individualized strategic intervention and planning designed to promote increased knowledge, skills and behaviors that will enable families with children with special needs to manage emergencies, sustain basic needs, achieve their goals and expand their opportunities for long-term success.

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Bryan’s Story

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.

Shifting Need

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.

Evolving Model

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.

What We Do

Today with capacity to serve over 1,200 people a year, we continue to honor the legacy of baby Bryan, Lydia and Matthew by providing services to comfort and support families in our community through:

  • Medically Managed Care
  • Respite Care
  • Social Services

Under our Medically Managed Care, 90% of children 0-5 years of age, 9% are their sibilings, and 1% are their families.

Agency Founder

Stefanie Held: Celebrating 35 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.

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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.

Advisory Board

First Lady Laura Bush
Tom Caldwell
Ralph Cousins
Dr. David Genecov*
Dr. Lisa Genecov

Pam Gerber
Louise Griffeth
Nancy Halbreich
Linda Hall
Mike Harper
Thomas Haskins, Jr.

Stefanie Held
Lance Leslie
Sarah Losinger
John McFarland
Stuart Newsome

Cyndy Monie
Nancy Perot Mulford
Rust E. Reid
Nancy Roe
Ken Sheffield
Mary Ann Siller

* = In memoriam


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!

Jennifer Searles


Jennifer Searles is a powerhouse in the nonprofit sector; her high-energy approach to servant leadership blazes trails in the industry and ignites change wherever she goes. As Founding Chief Executive Officer of Veritas Impact Partners, she orchestrated a meteoric rise, propelling the organization from humble beginnings to an award-winning success. Under her visionary leadership, Veritas achieved astonishing revenue growth, surpassing the million-dollar mark in annual giving while garnering national acclaim for its groundbreaking programs – touching the lives of countless families with its innovative solutions.

But Jennifer’s impact doesn’t stop there. Before her role at Veritas, Jennifer served as the first-ever Chief Development Officer for Healing Hands Ministries, where she fostered deep, authentic relationships with key community groups – building substantial partnerships and cultivating a donor-retention plan more than double the national average. From her time at local nonprofits like Tarrant County Samaritan House to over a decade at national juggernaut Boy Scouts of America, Jennifer’s ability to attract key stakeholders, secure funding, and scale operations through team building has resulted in transformative outcomes, unprecedented growth, and game- changing initiatives.

Driven by an unyielding passion to serve with compassion and dignity, Jennifer is more than just a leader—she is a force of nature, reshaping the landscape of philanthropy and leaving an indelible mark on the communities she touches. With her new position as CEO of Bryan’s House, Jennifer’s story is far from over, as she continues to push boundaries, inspire change, and redefine what it means to make a difference in our community.

Meet our new CEO, Jennifer Searles!

(click on the photo to read her bio)

Linda White

Finance Director

Marilyn Quinones

Social Services Director

Michelle Ramirez

Operations Director

LaQuasha Cook

Director of Children’s Programs

Emily Pullin

Clinical Manager

Angela Tsai

Assessment, Therapy and Accessibility Manager (ATA)

Our Partners

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.

Clinical Partners

Community Partners


Government Partners

Corporate Partners