In 1966 a mother of five, Rose McGarrigle, relocated to Austin, Texas from pre-war Berlin, Germany, by way of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rose realized the desperate need for quality day care for children with both physical and mental handicaps. Her vision was to care for severely disabled children without the need for chemicals, restraints, and isolation. With little help from the state or local officials, Rose converted the garage of her West Austin home and took her red Volkswagen bus around all of Austin, collecting disabled youngsters and bringing them into her sunny room, complete with music, toys, and love.
She was relentless in finding ways to be with the children who needed her. She got local churches involved and weathered storms. She used her own house to give room and board to several youngsters mixed with her own children until the number of children and needed space outgrew the circumstances. A kind neighbor donated a “fixer-upper” house on the outskirts of Austin where, with a lot of help from others, Hope House lived for 8 years.