The Fifth Ward Enrichment Program (FWEP) of Houston, Texas is a local private nonprofit agency that is also a United Way Affiliate organization located within the geographical community for which it provides services. The Fifth Ward is roughly bounded by Lockwood Avenue on the east, Collingsworth Street to the north, Hardy Street on the west and the Buffalo Bayou to the south. The total population of the area, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is 25,464. The residents are predominately African American or Hispanic, with 29.2% describing themselves as non-Hispanic blacks.
The target population is low-income, at-risk males, ages 12 to 19, who attend schools (Kashmere and Wheatley High Schools, Key, McReynolds and Fleming Middle Schools) in the Northeast District of the Houston Independent School District (HISD). During a normal school year, approximately 200 school-based youths will be case-managed and another 200 youths will receive outreach services. For the new school year 2016-2017, the parents of the participating youth will receive a secondary intervention complementing the services that will be made available to their sons.
Socioeconomic information from the 2014-2015 HISD School Profiles also show a community struggling with poverty and the many negative consequences of marginalization and discrimination. The HISD School Profiles for the Northeast District (which includes the Fifth Ward, Kashmere Gardens, and Denver Harbor area ~Kashmere and Wheatley High Schools, Key, McReynolds and Fleming Middle Schools~) show a primarily low-income minority population. Eighty-three (83%) percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch by federal poverty standards and Eighty-one (81%) are considered “at-risk”.
FWEP has provided services related to adolescent reproductive health since its incorporation in 1996. One of FWEP’s aims is to impact morbidity due to HIV/AIDS, STDs, and teenage pregnancy. These factors affect quality-of-life outcomes such as future employability, income, family stability, and opportunity for higher education.