About the Cloth

"In Unity There Is Strength"
The Third Ward Community Cloth Cooperative is an "organization of organizations"
focusing on resources for children and families in the greater Third Ward area.

Our Mission
The mission of the Third Ward Community Cloth Cooperative (the Cloth) is to identify, mobilize, unify, stabilize, create and coordinate resources to nurture and enhance the bodies, minds and spirits of children, youth and families in the greater Third Ward area. Organizations join together "to weave a grassroots fabric to spread across the greater Third Ward community" to ensure adequate coverage for children and families.
History of the Cloth

The Third Ward Community Cloth Cooperative is a direct out growth of two community initiatives: SHAPE Community Center's Project Harambee implemented in 1990 and Houston Area Urban League's "Coffee and Conversation" organized in 1992. Starting with 16 organizations in 1992, the Cloth has grown to over 325 community based organizations, churches, schools and businesses serving one of Houston's oldest inner City neighborhoods. Some Cloth accomplishments are as follows:
  • Developed a computerized database of organizations in Third Ward
  • Obtained funding for collaborative projects from diverse founders (i.e., Annie E. Casey Foundation, Cultural Arts Council of Houston/HarrisCounty, Texas Commerce Bank (now JPMorgan Chase), Texas Department of Health, MidAmerica Arts Alliance & Wells Fargo Bank)
  • Established Third Ward Community Fund Management Corporation in 1995
  • Published 1996 Summer/Fall/Winter Guide to the Afrikan & Afrikan American Cultural Arts of Houston (a collaborative effort of the Cultural Arts Thread with the Community Artists' Collective and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
  • Completed design of a Third Ward Resource Map with Rice University
  • Developed a Voter Education & Mobilization Manual in 1994
  • Coordinated a city-wide public hearing with Texas Department of Transportation in 1996
  • Conducted Environmental mini-forums and co-sponsored a Third Ward Community Cleanup Campaign in 1993
  • Helped develop a process for community representation on Houston Enhanced Enterprise Community Governance Board
  • Sponsored Computer Literacy Day at Texas Southern University and Cuney Homes in 1997
  • Coordinated community participation in the CyberEd Project (a joint venture with City of Houston, Office of the Mayor and the EEC Governance Board)
  • Coordinated Third Ward Read On!!!
  • Sponsored Third Ward '97 Community Forum for city run- off elections and published candidates responses for voters 

Founding Organizations

The founding members of the Cloth are:

    *     Access Health
    *     Communities in Schools at Yates
    *     Community Artists' Collective
    *     FUUSA (now Change Happens)
    *     Houston Area Urban League
    *     MLK, Jr. Community Center
    *     Operation Smart
    *     Over the Hill, Inc. 

    *     PABA
    *     Pilgrim Congregational Church
    *     Riverside General Hospital 
    *     Riverside Public Health Center
    *     Sew Much Fabric
    *     SHAPE Community Center
    *     South Central YMCA
    *     University of Houston-African American Studies

Individual Involvement through Member Organizations

The Cloth's membership is comprised of organizations, families, schools, businesses, churches, public and private agencies that support the mission of the Cloth. Although the membership of the Cloth is limited to organizations and families, individuals may participate in the Cloth in a number of ways:

  1.  Serve as members of threads (committees or task forces) of the Cloth
  2. Join or affiliate with member organizations or families that share their particular concerns or issues
  3. Request that member organizations expand their scope to include their concerns or issues; and, if possible, affiliate with member organizations or families
  4. Form a new group to address their issues or concerns and join the Cloth. "When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion"