Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | June 2021

NONPROFIT

YellowHouse Foundation

Nonprot seeks donations for new location in Leander W hat started as an Alcoholics Anonymous group in Cedar Park in 1983 has grown into a recovery resource with 43 meet- ings that help more than 800 people every week. The Yellow House Foundation is now asking its community for help to fund construction for its new, larger Leander building, Hal Cromwell, the project’s fundraising coordinator, said. Yellow House Foundation, a nonprot organi- zation, hosts meetings seven days a week for 14 recovery groups including Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Primary Purpose, Indelity Survivors Anonymous and Nicotine Anonymous with attendees primarily coming fromWilliamson, Bell and Burnet counties. The foundation estab- lished as a nonprot in 2013. “When you’re at your lowest, you’ve got a place to go and a community to guide you so you can get your life back,” he said. “And the way it functions, once you get your life back, there’s a responsibility that you will do that for the other people that come after.” The foundation’s home in Cedar Park is limited in time because the land where the foundation sits will become the future Bell District as a result of eminent domain, a process by which the govern- ment can purchase private land for development. Cromwell said the city has been kind and allowed the foundation to stay in its building through the end of 2021, but construction on a new building needs to begin in July so that groups and meetings can move in before the year ends. The building will be located at 804 Leander Drive, Leander. In the fast-growing area of Williamson County, the number of attendees has also grown over time with the nearest similar foundation in Georgetown, Cromwell said. The move has allowed the founda- tion to build a space big enough to host events and its larger meetings, which have up to 100 attendees, with room to spare. “It’s recovery, right, so you’re hating and loving it that you’re growing,” Cromwell said. “You love to have the resource and love the work that we’re doing. But when you realize what that means it’s kind of daunting.” The project’s proposals and pricing were delayed nearly a year due to the pandemic. Cromwell said the project sat in limbo until this past March. Luck- ily, donations and waived fees from contractors saved the foundation about $460,000. As of mid-April, the organization still needed to raise about $1.1 million, Cromwell said. In total, the project is slated to cost $2 million, but the land BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

“SOMEBODY’S COWORKER, BROTHER, SON, COUSIN ... HAS BEEN TO THE YELLOWHOUSE ANDRECLAIMED

THEIR LIFE AT THE YELLOWHOUSE.” HAL CROMWELL, FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR

The Yellow House Foundation plans to relocate to Leander in late 2021. (Rendering courtesy Yellow House Foundation)

YELLOWHOUSE over the years

What started as a small yellow house on Bell Boulevard has grown into a place for several recovery groups to meet.

2021: Construction is slated to begin on the new home of the Yellow House Foundation in Leander at 804 Leander Drive.

1983: Alcoholics Anonymous groups begin meeting in a small yellow house where the CVS Pharmacy stands today at US 183 and Cypress Creek Road.

2003: The group moves to its current Cedar Park location at 120 Commercial Parkway to accommodate its number of groups.

1983

1990

2000

2010

2020

YellowHouse Foundation 120 Commercial Parkway, Cedar Park Donation information: 512-826-4322 Meeting information: 512-219-9091 www.yhfoundation.org Meeting information and times are available online.

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has already been paid for. Now, the foundation is working to fund construction through grants, public funds and community donations. “This is a home that we can stay at for decades,” Cromwell said. “The potential is incredible.” The pandemic also caused meetings to go entirely virtual for about two months, which had its pros and cons, Cromwell said. Zoommeetings created a convenient way for attendees to join as many meetings as they wished and allowed for more meeting times since no physical space was needed. Unfortunately, the virtual-only envi- ronment caused many regular attendees to miss

meetings, created isolation for those struggling with addiction and made it dicult for older adults to connect, Cromwell said. Some meetings are still oered online, and many continue to meet outside, he added. Cromwell said nearly everyone knows someone who has been to the Yellow House—whether they know it or not. It is the only local resource for some people without nancial means of inpatient or outpatient care, he said. “Somebody’s coworker, brother, son, cousin ... has been to the Yellow House and reclaimed their life at the Yellow House,” he said.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • JUNE 2021

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