Thana Hickman-Simmons, Founder of Viola’s House, Partners With HHM Health to Open New Clinic in South Dallas!

By: Keeshala Henderson

Faith. Hope. Love. Believe. Viola’s House, a non-profit organization located in the heart of South Dallas, is undeniably characterized by the essence of these terms in their mission to positively impact and transform the lives of mothers who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Founder and CEO Thana Hickman-Simmons, a native of Chicago, continues to transcend historical boundaries with an irrefutable faith walk and passion for supporting this underserved population and community. Viola’s House commenced with Thana’s vision of opening a maternity home and has catapulted into an incomparable support system for mothers and children.

Thana’s godmother, the late Viola Paris, is the inspiration for Viola’s House. Viola guided Thana when faced with an unplanned pregnancy at the age of seventeen. Thana was a teen wife and a mother of three by age twenty-two. The imparted legacy of service continued with Thana mentoring teen mothers in the Plano and Irving school districts with Destiny’s House. Thana revealed, “I noticed they didn’t need mentoring. They needed diapers, they needed a place to live. They didn’t care about my curriculum. They weren’t even ready for that level of curriculum. So, it was eye opening to me because I had such strong support as a teen mother and such a strong village that I had to do something. I started the journey to open a residential program, which took me years because nobody in my space was doing it. There was no one that I could mirror this residential program after. All I had was this vision that God had shown me of this home, and I could clearly see the home.”

Managing being a wife, a mother and a longstanding career in insurance, Thana embarked on a relentless mission. During a period of delay, she continued the commission to serve. “In my faith walk, I was still doing the work in serving. So, that is one thing I tell a lot of non-profit leaders now is that in your waiting period, you still have to serve. I volunteered for seven years for Interfaith Housing. I learned housing. I learned case management. I learned how to serve clients who were homeless,” Thana enthusiastically imparted.

Thana’s consistent service and faith yielded the destined opportunity to meet Pastor Chris Simmons, of Cornerstone Baptiste Church, who is one of largest landowners in South Dallas right now. Pastor Simmons heard about the mentoring program for teen moms and offered Thana one of the three homes behind the church. Thana quickly realized the need for housing while raising capital during the renovation process. Pastor Simmons gave Thana one apartment, which had two beds. Thana received ten applications and Viola’s House has house served hundreds of mothers and babies since the summer of 2015.

Today, Viola’s House employs fifty-two full-time employees, encompassing community moms who have completed the program and are now serving other mothers in need. Serving over five hundred mothers a day with curriculum courses on pregnancy, parenting, workforce development and financial literacy, the mothers can earn baby bucks to spend at the Baby Boutique upscale thrift store. Viola’s House has mobile units servicing teen mothers in the Dallas and Irving schools and facilitates community giveaways in the parking lots three times a month in zip codes with the greatest need. There is a satellite location in Brownsville, Texas by the border and is managed by three staff. One of the largest distributions of diapers in Texas, Viola’s House distributed over six million diapers in 2023, receiving an award two years in a row in the state of Texas for serving the most mothers. An exceptional annual gala is held in December!

Viola’s House is thrilled to announce the grand opening of HHM Health at South Dallas, offering comprehensive and affordable healthcare services through a strategic partnership between HHM Health and Viola’s House. March 4th marked the phenomenal celebration and encompassed a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Viola’s House and HHM Health leadership surrounded by friends and supporters, as well as guided tours of the incredible new medical facility, Viola’s House Baby Boutique, the administrative offices, call center and the maternity home. HHM Health at South Dallas is located at 3639 Holmes Street Dallas, TX 75215 and offers family medicine, pediatrics and women’s health medical services to those who are uninsured and insured.

The addition of this partnership and services will address the healthcare desert in the 75215 area code. “We discovered the need in this healthcare desert for quality healthcare services right here in South Dallas. We learned that the community trusts Viola’s House and we knew that the same incentive programs that are used for our education program will work for healthcare. This is a powerful, powerful partnership! It is innovative. It is historic. The U.S. is the number one country for maternal deaths and our black babies is the number one demographic for infant mortality. So why not change the outcomes and the disparities in this community by providing quality healthcare, with a quality provider and M.D.’s that care about this community,” stated Thana.

On the horizon, Viola’s House will also open a transitional home with family suites that will be completed by “Extreme Home Makeover.”  The home will house mothers with multiple children and include a childcare center on the first floor. A second maternity home is opening in Baltimore.

If you would like to support Viola’s House via donations or volunteering, please visit

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