Community Partners


Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Buffalo Bayou Partnership seeks to make Buffalo Bayou a central, regional amenity. The organization is proud that their restoration and revitalization work has adhered to this plan’s overarching goals and planning concepts by balancing conservation and development and creating projects that serve multiple purposes - recreation, flood management and ecosystem restoration. Site-specific plans also have been completed for such areas as public art, lighting, and conservation management.

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CAN DO Houston

CAN DO Houston seeks to prevent and diminish childhood obesity in Houston and surrounding communities through physical activity, nutrition, and healthy minds by enabling the broadest collaboration of individuals, institutions, and organizations. CAN DO Houston organizes and promotes a number of community-based and community-driven environmental and policy changes to promote healthy eating and active living. Examples of our activities include teaching healthy lifestyle classes (food preparation, nutrition and physical activity), classes on leadership and advocacy, establishing community and school gardens, setting up healthy corner stores, improving access to safe places to play, promoting complete streets, facilitating classes on parenting and family wellness, and supporting the efforts of other organizations with similar missions.

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Cane River Gardens, Inc.

Cane River Gardens Inc. seeks to enhance the quality of urban life and strengthen community bonds by creating and sustaining an organic community garden and farmer’s market.

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Covenant Community Capital

Covenant Community Capital seeks to enhance the beauty, safety, and economic vitality of low-income communities by increasing their capacity to develop affordable housing, grow business enterprises, and build community and family assets. This organization oversees a variety of critical programs that work to reduce poverty in the Fifth Ward, including the Smart-Savings Program, financial literacy classes, and several affordable housing developments. Since its establishment, Covenant Community Capital has helped over 250 families purchase homes in their communities – a positive step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.

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Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation

The Fifth Ward CRC is a catalytic organization dedicated to the collaborative fostering of holistic community development. Their vision is to sustain and build the Fifth Ward as a beautiful and better place to live, work, and play. The Fifth Ward CRC coordinates a variety of programs to fulfill their mission, including Real Estate Development, Homeownership Promotion & Preservation, Asset Management, and Community and Supportive Services. Notably, in this past year, Starbucks Coffee Company partnered with the Fifth Ward CRC to provide thousands of volunteers in this community.

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Fifth Ward Enrichment Program

The Fifth Ward Enrichment Program is a youth leadership and development program for at-risk males, ages 12-19. The core program of this organization is the “School-Based Projects,” which aims to link together all school, after-school, and home activities. Accordingly, the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program engages 200-300 high-risk minority youth each day in a positive and educational after-school environment. Mentoring, academic tutoring, and leadership training form the key components of this program. Ultimately, this organization seeks to empower boys to become responsible men and productive members of their families and communities.

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Pleasant Hill Leadership Institute

Founded in 1925, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church has worked for decades to facilitate the educational, cultural, and spiritual leadership of the Fifth Ward community. They are engaged in a variety of community outreach programs related to senior citizens, immigrants, and children, amongst other population groups. In many ways, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church acts as a community center for the Fifth Ward, sustaining the tight-knit, vibrant culture that characterizes this community

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School Literacy & Culture

School Literacy and Culture (SLC) at Rice University promotes effective teaching in the preschool and primary years through rigorous professional educational initiatives that emphasize reading and writing, culture, child development and research. SLC has worked for several years with Small Steps Nurturing Center, a preschool and kindergarten in the Fifth Ward. Interns choosing to work with SLC spend one day each week working directly with children at Small Steps Nurturing Center and another working in our office at Rice or in the field at the Rice OWL Lab, an innovative program at the Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Education Center in Houston’s Gulfton community.

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Small Steps Nurturing Center

The mission of Small Steps is to provide an exemplary early childhood education that fosters the social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth of economically at-risk children and their families. Small Steps works by employing highly qualified and committed teachers, ensuring low teacher-student ratios, and providing students with nutritious meals and transportation. This organization also has a wealth of data, both anecdotal and empirical, that indicates its effectiveness in providing quality, transformative early childhood education. As of June 2011, Small Steps had expanded to two locations, and had graduated 243 students to kindergarten or first grade.

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YES Prep Fifth Ward

YES Prep Public Schools exist to increase the number of low-income Houstonians who graduate from a four-year college prepared to compete in a global marketplace and committed to improving disadvantaged communities. YES Prep students are typically economically disadvantaged, Hispanic or African-American, and first-generation college bound. Their unique and replicable educational model is marked by small classroom sizes, rigorous curriculum, an extensive student support system, service learning, and personalized college counseling. Now composed of ten different campuses throughout the Houston area, YES Prep is committed to providing a quality college preparatory education for all students.

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Tentative Partners


Neighborhood Centers Inc.

Neighborhood Centers Inc. connects low-income families and individuals to opportunity so they can achieve the life they've imagined. It's the reason why Neighborhood Centers exists and it's something that hasn't changed since 1907. Neighborhood Centers believes that their neighborhoods are bridges to opportunity, that people can transform communities, and that everyone everywhere has something to contribute. For good.


Greater East End Management District

The Greater East End Management District (GEEMD) was created in 1999 by the 76th Texas legislature as a tool for economic development and revitalization in the area. GEEMD will work with its rate payers, the community and government partners to ensure that the district becomes a dynamic and distinct community.