Boat People SOS (BPSOS) - Houston is a non-profit social and legal services provider whose purpose is to empower, organize, and equip immigrant communities in their pursuit of liberty and dignity. Our branch provides education, information, and direct assistance to immigrant and refugee families on potential health and legal issues prevalent in the immigrant communities. BPSOS services range from health awareness prevention programs, legal services for low-income families and victims of violence and crime, youth advocacy and senior services programs to encourage community engagement, advocacy, and volunteerism.
Jannette Diep-executive director
Born and raised in Vietnam until the age of six, Jannette immigrated to the U.S. in 1979. She grew up in Louisiana and graduated from LSU with a B.S. in Psychology. Jannette developed a love for serving minority and low-income communities through volunteering in her free time during college. After working in the corporate sector as a banker, Jannette decided that her true passion was in helping others. She took a jump into the non-profit world and beloved hers kills would be best utilized in the Vietnamese and immigrant communities. Jannette started working at BPSOS in 2008 as an Immigration Program Coordinator and was promoted to Executive Officer of the Houston branch in 2014.
Trish Nguyen-Senior Branch Manager
Born and raised in Saigon, Trish Nguyen started working at BPSOS-Houston in 2004 as a Project Coordinator. Trish was promoted to Manager of the Houston branch in just nine months, Trish oversees as variety of programs, recruiting and hiring new associates, and the Houston budget and financial reporting. Trish enjoys working with the staff and volunteering at her church during her free time.
Theresa Thomas-Legal Services Manager & Staff Attorney
Born in Thailand, Theresa immigrated to the US with her family at 8 years old. As a college student, Theresa started the Asian Pacific American Awareness Coalition which cemented her interest in both the non-profit sector and advocating for the Asian community. Theresa worked as a non-profit manager for seven years before starting a legal career which took her to Bangkok, Thailand, and Kula Lumpur, Malaysia. Her role at BPSOS includes managing the legal department as well as direct representation of clients on immigration and family law matters. Theresa is committed to diligent representation and finds immense satisfaction in assisting the community with her law degree.
Felix Park - Staff Attorney
Born in South Korea, Felix came to the US with his family in 2004 when he was just ten years old. Felix always had a heart for the oppressed and marginalized. Felix earned his bachelor's degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. During his time at Baylor University, he was part of the local chapter of International Justice Mission, an anti-human traffiking organization. Felix earned is juris doctor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. During his time, he was part of the Asian American Law Student Association and interned for Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, North Carolina. Felix's role at BPSOS Houston includes serving low-income clients through our IOLTA program and crime victims through our CVCLS program.
BPSOS - Houston’s Legal Services Center is a non-profit legal service provider serving the needs of low-income individuals in the Asian and other minority communities of Houston. The mission of the Legal Services Center is to provide meaningful access to high quality, civil legal services that are culturally-sensitive and linguistically-appropriate to low-income persons and members of vulnerable populations throughout Harris and surrounding counties. The Legal Services Center advocates for and assists in family law, applying for immigration benefits, family sponsorship, permanent residency or U.S. citizenship applications, and other basic civil legal services. The Legal Services Center provides reduced fee and free services to those who qualify.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call (281) 530-6888.
Funded by: Texas Access to Justice Foundation
Visit us at https://stoptxeviction.org
(Funded By: Texas Access To Justice Foundation, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, Houston Endowment, Inc.)
BPSOS - Communities Against Domestic Violence Program (CADV) offers a full range of culturally-sensitive, linguistically-appropriate services including:
24-hour crisis response hotline;
safety-planning and ongoing emotional support;
accompaniments in court, police stations, medical facilities;
public benefits application assistance;
connections to counseling;
crime victim compensation assistance; and
shelter and/or housing relocation.
The CADV Team also provide legal advocacy and representation in family, immigration, or other civil matters through our Legal Services Center. Each year, BPSOS-Houston’s CADV advocates and attorneys support hundreds of immigrant women and men facing abuse in their lives. If you or someone you know needs help, please call (713)294-9106.
Sexual Assault Program aims to provide trauma informed, culturally and linguistically appropriate supportive services, including crisis intervention, access to mental health and health care providers, and ongoing emotional support to nurture the healing process of survivors of sexual assault. Services include trauma informed care, referrals to legal consultations and representations, referrals to short and long term counseling, crisis intervention, safety planning, emotional support, accompaniments, and access to medical care. If you or someone you know needs help, please call (713)294-9106.
Victims of Exploitation and Trafficking Assistance (VETA) provides direct services including legal representation to immigrant victims of human trafficking. The VETA team also conducts outreach to the community, service providers and law enforcement to increase awareness of human trafficking and victim identification.
Funded by: The Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor
BPSOS - Citizenship Program provides a culturally and linguistically specialized curriculum and instructor-led classroom environment for adults to prepare for their U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization examination, develop civic skills, or improve their English as Second Language (ESL) proficiency. Classes are available during the weekday evenings and on Saturdays. To get more information on class times and availability, please text in English, Vietnamese, or Spanish to Andrea Tovar at (281) 826-9870 or call our front office at (281) 530-6888.
Please visit our BPSOS-Houston facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/BPSOS.Houston/
BPSOS - Monthly Citizenship Workshops ONLINE! provide information on citizenship requirements, eligibility screenings, and free application assistance by trained volunteers and attorneys. Fee waiver assistance is also available for those who qualify. To register for our citizenship workshops, please text your name to Danielle Mullen at (281) 826-9870 or call our front office at (281) 530-6888. Start your application today by clicking here.
2022 Citizenship Workshops and Class Schedules ONLINE! :
NOTE: REGISTRATION REQUIRED for citizenship workshops. Please text name to: 281-826-9870
Virtual Citizenship Workshops and Class Schedules 2022:
Jan. 22nd, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Feb. 19th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Mar. 19th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
April 23rd, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
May 21st, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
June 25th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
July 16th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Aug. 20th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Sept. 17th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Oct. 22nd, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Nov. 12th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Dec. 10th, 2022 @ 10AM - 12PM
Jan. 21st, 2023 @ 10AM - 12PM
2022 Citizenship & ESL Class Schedule ONLINE! :
**NOTE: Must REGISTER, please text 281-826-9870**
Citizenship classes schedule 2022: 3 days a week: Tues. & Thurs. from 6PM - 8PM & Saturdays 2pm – 4pm. New classes starts every three months.
1. January 4th
2. April 5th
3. July 5th
4. Oct. 4th
5. Jan. 3rd, 2023
*Schedule will be announced in January 2022
Funded by: USCIS Citizenship & Integration Program, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, New American Campaign, East West Bank
Computer Training classes by Topics:
Please call BPSOS for upcoming 2022 schedule
Funded by: Comcast NBC Universal
HAPP-Cancer provides screening for breast, colon cancer, cervical cancer, and Hepatitis C through case management, info and referral services, monthly outreach and education, and supporting and organizing support groups.
Funded By: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas
HAPP-Access to Healthcare assists families to enroll in ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, and SNAP through case management, information and referral services, monthly outreach and education, and supporting and organizing support groups.
Funded By: Episcopal Health Foundation, Centers for Medicaid Medicare Services
HAPP-Mobile Wellness conducts monthly wellness screenings and educational workshops for Vietnamese and other Asians across the southeast Houston region, including rural areas of Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers, Matagorda, etc.
HAPP-Wellness Screening available the second Wednesday of every month at our BPSOS - Houston Office
Contact BPSOS office for more information on the health programs: 281-530-6888
Get Out To Vote (GOTV) is aimed at increasing civic and electoral participation within the Vietnamese and AAPI community by implementing a nonpartisan program to educate and mobilize the community.
Funded by: ECI, APIAVote
Occupational Safety Training was established in 2000 and the Community Awareness Campaign on Occupational Safety (CACOS) has developed a track record of success in informing and training Vietnamese Americans on OSHA-related issues. BPSOS has developed Vietnamese-language materials, trained Vietnamese-speaking trainers, provided training and technical assistance to Vietnamese workers and employers, and disseminated information among Vietnamese communities. With few exceptions, all existing OSHA materials in Vietnamese were developed by BPSOS in various formats: print, audio and video. In 2005, we published the compendium of many of these materials in a Vietnamese-language publication titled “Safety and Health in the Workplace.” Our ongoing project focuses on the safety and health of nail salon workers and owners including recognizing chemical hazards, eliminating hazards, preventing aches and pains, Personal Protected Equipment (PPE), infectious diseases, and rights as a workers and employers.
Senior Services assist those over the age of 60 adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, BPSOS-Houston senior services provides a full range of linguistically and culturally competent services including:
Monthly Senior Support Group gatherings at the BPSOS office on Fridays from 10am -12pm
Monthly Senior Yoga Classes at the BPSOS office on Fridays from 9am – 10am
Field Trips to Texas attractions, museums, historical sites, etc.
Volunteer opportunities at cultural festivals, back to school fairs, health fairs, and community gardens
Health awareness and prevention services through our many HAPP programs
Nutrition classes, food access
Health coverage enrollment
Legal education, information, and representation through our Legal Services Center
Funded by: Houston Methodist
For more information, please call office at 281-530-688
Disaster Relief and Recovery Services provides help, support, and advocacy for survivors of natural disasters by offering case management services including benefits assistance, housing assistance and referrals, legal assistance, and direct emergency
COVID19 updates and resources on CDC, How to Protect Yourself & Others:
Thank you to our COVID19 funders!
-Greater Houston Community Foundation
-Comcast NBC Universal
Thank you to our Hurricane Harvey Funders!
-Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
-American Red Cross
-David Weekley Family Foundation
-Bank of Hope
-Comcast Corporation (Houston Region)
-Susan G. Komen Houston
-Texas Access to Justice Foundation
-The Houck Family Foundation
-BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund
-Asian American Bar Foundation
We depend on volunteers to further our organization’s missions and goals. If you would like to share your time and talent, email our staff attorney Felix Park at Felix.Park@bpsos.org, and we will get in touch with you. We have frequent volunteer orientations, and we would be delighted to see you there. See below to know more about our past volunteers' experiences.