Under the terms of its governing documents, the foundation’s grantmaking is focused on 23 counties in East Texas and one Arkansas county: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Cass, Cherokee, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler, and Miller County in Arkansas.
These counties are home to 5.7 million people—4.5 million in Harris County alone. Compared to the rest of Texas and the United States, our 24 counties are significantly poorer, older and less Hispanic, with a smaller immigrant population. They are largely rural and face a number of challenges common to rural communities: high rates of poverty and unemployment, low educational attainment, and poor health outcomes. Yet they also have numerous assets on which to build: rich biodiversity, a strong cultural heritage and dedicated community leaders. The T.L.L. Temple Foundation is committed to working with communities in Deep East Texas to help solve the region’s most pressing challenges.