The Center for Pursuit, Social Motion, Inc. merge announced

Charles C. Canton and Wendy Dawson

HOUSTON – The Center for Pursuit (TCFP) and Social Motion, Inc. (SOMO), two of Houston’s leading nonprofits serving the special needs community, are merging.

SOMO provides social skills and vocational training to individuals on the autism spectrum from pre-K to young adults, while TCFP serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The new partnership will create a synergy of resources that will yield a continuum of high-quality programs and services from childhood through adulthood.

“We are excited about the opportunities presented by this merger,” said TCFP President and CEO Charles C. Canton. “Social Motion brings its strong autism focus and social skills program. The Center for Pursuit offers workforce development, supported and assisted living options and health and wellness services. Together, we are creating a life path of services for the individuals we serve – a synergistic progression of services unparalleled in the community. The beneficiaries will be our families and community as a whole as we support individuals with developmental disabilities and autism through kinship, employment and independence.”

“This merger establishes a strong scaffolding on which Social Motion can continue to grow,” said SOMO Founder Wendy K. Dawson. “We are solving the issues of access, funding and continuity for the families we serve. This merger joins two great entities to serve needs from early intervention to successful lifelong futures. No longer will parents have to worry about what comes next when their children age out of programs.”

Dawson will join TCFP’s Programs Committee and serve in the new role of consultant to the merged entity.

“We want to reassure our families that SOMO is merging into TCFP as a complete program. The SOMO staff is not changing. The teachers are not changing. Our existing site locations and educational programs will remain the same. Even our name will stay the same.” said Dawson.

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What is changing is SOMO’s engine behind the scenes. All development, accounting and human resources functions will operate out of TCFP’s new $55 million campus on Harrisburg Blvd. in Houston’s East End. In addition, SOMO will dissolve its nonprofit designation and operate under TCFP’s 501 (c)(3).

TCFP and SOMO were already working together prior to the merger. A year ago, they entered into a strategic alliance to create The Center of Excellence, an effort to bring expanded autism and life span services to those with neurodiversity and intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Houston community. The success of the strategic alliance laid the foundation for the merger, which will be effective July 1, 2022.


About The Center for Pursuit
For more than seven decades, The Center for Pursuit (TCFP) has empowered individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to live meaningful, dignified lives filled with opportunity. Through innovative programs and services in areas like employment training, community living, and day services, TCFP helps clients develop the skills and tools necessary to grow as individuals and participate fully in their community. Always growing and changing, TCFP currently serves over 450 adults with I/DD in the Houston area.

About Social Motion, Inc.
Wendy Dawson founded Houston-based nonprofit Social Motion, Inc. in 2010 for her stepson, to teach social and vocational skills to individuals with autism and similar developmental disorders. Now serving approximately 200 children, adolescents and young adults a week, Social Motion is an established leader providing specialized trainings and supporting inclusion efforts for those with neurodiversity and developmental disabilities.

Janice Evans