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The Good Karma Gift Shop on Mueschke Road supports Family Ties

Featured Article

Hope Through Healing

Family Ties crisis center helps kids and families find success

Article by Erica Hernandez

Photography by Erica Hernandez | Fox Tail Family Photography

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

Five years ago, Heather Stautmeister found out homeless teenagers were living at nearby truck stops along Highway 290 in Waller. Wanting to help, she spoke with the Waller High School principal who opened the campus for the students to shower and rest before class. Still, it wasn’t enough. Heather, who founded the Family Ties non-profit, knew the teens were abandoned by their families, lonely and desperate for help. But in rural Waller, a farm region just north of Cypress’ suburbs, no shelters existed for homeless youth. That’s what inspired Heather to do something great. She would create a home for these kids, a safe haven where they could sleep, eat, do their homework and get job training all under one roof.


In 2018, that dream became reality when Heather won a grant to build a 12-bed facility that would not only house homeless teens, it would give them a place to find success.

“We know these kids want to excel and have a happy life,” Heather says. “Unfortunately, they don’t have the support to do that. The Mueller House was created to support that mission.”

The home, dubbed The Mueller House after the organization that funded its construction, is slated to open by year's end. The home will be run by Family Ties, where Heather serves as the executive director. The group aims to help kids and families recover from family violence or other trauma. 


While running a youth shelter will be a new endeavor for Heather, rescuing families from crisis is a familiar journey. She started Family Ties as a solo therapist in 2007 to help victims of abuse recover from their trauma. Sometimes it was lending a shoulder to cry on and other times it was attending court hearings to offer personal support to victims. Since then, Family Ties has grown into a 12-member team of therapists and staffers who help people move past their victimization into a new way of life. They serve people who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or are at risk for human trafficking. The staff offers free counseling and representation to guide victims as they navigate the state’s complex social and judicial systems. They also refer clients to other agencies to help them get temporary housing, food or medical treatment.

“Providing hope for healing is such an important piece of what we do,” Heather says. “A lot of times we get stuck on what happened to somebody as opposed to what happens on the other side.” 

Preventing violence is also a critical part of the Family Ties mission. In addition to victim services, the group teaches a host of school-based training focused on anger management, anti-bullying and character education. 


While all services are free to their clients, Family Ties must regularly fundraise to meet its growing need for services. This year, Heather hopes to raise $50,000 through Family Ties annual casino night, an entertaining evening of casino-style games, raffles, a silent auction and delicious foods. The event will be held September 10 at 15 Acres, a luxurious new family-owned wedding venue in Hockley. Proceeds from the night will go to support opening the Mueller House. Recently, they also opened the Good Karma Gift Shop at their Cypress location which sells handmade crafts and candles as a way to support the Family Ties mission. Heather encourages anyone who wishes to get involved to donate their time or services to Family Ties. 

“We know that violence affects the community at large and we want a partnership with the community,” Heather says. “Whether it’s through volunteerism, financial support or providing education.” 

2114 Field Store Road Waller


  • Heather Stautmeister
  • The Good Karma Gift Shop on Mueschke Road supports Family Ties
  • Family Ties staffer celebrate the opening of the organization's Good Karma Gift Shop
  • The Good Karma Gift Shop on Mueschke Road supports Family Ties