Topics & Perspectives

Buckner International: Hope for Dallas Families

When you mention the name Buckner in Dallas, most people will think of the Buckner Orphan’s Home in East Dallas. While faith-based nonprofit Buckner International started as a home for orphans more than 143 years ago, it has since become a place of hope for so many more.

Today, Buckner International means hope to children, families, and senior adults. Dr. Robert Cooke “Father” Buckner founded Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas in 1879 to serve orphaned children in post-Civil War Texas. It was Father Buckner’s compassion for the hopeless and helpless that served as the driving force behind his work.

The Growth of Buckner International

As the ministry of Buckner grew, so did the programs and services. With a goal to break the cycle of neglect and poverty by addressing risk factors early, Buckner International designed the Buckner Family Hope Center model to help families and youth like Rocio Lopez become confident in life.

Rocio’s family came to the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake, where they received counseling services, parenting classes, and programming that helped guide them to instill confidence in Rocio in her educational pursuit.

“When Rocio first came to the center, she was a little child,” said Ruth Bayona, Bucker Family Hope Center family coach. “She was expressing how she wasn’t comfortable about herself. But later, we could see a complete transformation of her.”

A Buckner International Family Hope Center is a child-centered, family focused place where families go to find hope, support, and empowerment to reach their fullest potential. The key to the Family Hope Center’s success is found in combining effective programs and passionate people to help families facing significant challenges such as poverty, family crisis, and lack of services.

Rocio found hope, self-confidence, and the skills she needed to be a successful adult and break the cycle of poverty. “Thanks to them I am now going to college,” Rocio said. “I am confident in what I am doing, I feel confident about the career I want, and confident I will get there. I am very motivated, and that does come from the classes with Buckner.”

Buckner Family Hope Center Locations in Dallas

Buckner International has three different Family Hope Center locations in Dallas: one in Bachman Lake, one in South Dallas at Wynnewood, and one in West Dallas at the Rangers Academy. These locations are strategically placed to serve Dallas’s underserved populations and help them to overcome the obstacles they are facing.

Each Family Hope Center engages the communities they serve through school collaborations; public events for children, youth, and parents; and community-wide distributions.

Buckner Family Hope Center Assitance Packages

Buckner International

As a client or member of the community, a family is eligible for assistance packages such as holiday meal kits, free school supplies, free Christmas presents for children, new shoes and socks, and more at distributions. By easing the financial burden of holidays, back-to-school shopping, and other seasons of life, Buckner can help to foster an environment where family comes first, not the stress that leads to tension in a home.

Because Rocio’s family was engaged and involved in the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake, Rocio now has the confidence and skills to pursue a nursing degree and follow her dreams with courage. Her younger siblings, too, now have a path to follow.

Buckner provides Family Hope Center programs both domestically in Texas and in six countries. Universally, Buckner engages families through assistance and community events, equips families through education, financial empowerment, child and youth development, and spiritual development, and elevates families through family coaching, counseling, and spiritual enrichment.

The Buckner Family Hope Center international locations have schools, medical clinics, and water wells to meet the basic needs of families who live nearby.

2021 Family Hope Center W

Other programs Buckner offers include single parent programming through Buckner Family Pathways, foster care and adoption services, Shoes for Orphan Souls, and NextStep, a program for women who have aged out of foster care or wish to remain in extended care. Buckner also operates six senior living communities in Texas, including Ventana by Buckner in Dallas.

Thanks to the help of generous donations and support, Buckner has a long history of serving vulnerable children and families and will continue to work to break the cycle of neglect, poverty, and the removal of children from their homes.

Through the Buckner Family Hope Center model and other family-focused programming, hope shines in the darkest places and inspires confidence in communities.

If you are interested in being a part of the change in your community, visit


Kayla Salzman

Kayla Salzman is the public relations coordinator for Buckner International. Salzman began working for Buckner in 2020 as the media relations coordinator and works with the various ministries to meet the organization's public relations needs. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a minor in public relations.

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