Third Ward Houston

The Kinder Foundation actively supports the community development and preservation of Houston’s historic Third Ward, giving more than $19 million to Third Ward organizations as of March 2023.

Emancipation Park

The foundation provided early funding for the renovation of Emancipation Park, one of Houston’s most historically significant parks, and in 2016, affirmed its commitment to quality greenspace for all Houstonians by granting the Emancipation Park Conservancy funding to further park programming and operations. Read about the rededication of Emancipation Park in June 2017 and more about the Kinder Foundation’s grants to improve the park here.

Young Mothers Residential Program/Project Row Houses

A 2016 grant from the foundation to the Young Mothers Residential Program at Project Row Houses affords young, single mothers with support to pursue their education and fulfill their career ambitions. The program provides a culturally rich environment in which residents develop healthy, holistic living practices and cultivate a sense of positive energy and self-worth. Read more about the program here.

Depictions of families in the Young Mothers Residential Program from The Faces of PRH, an installation by 2016 Summer Studios resident Caroline Ryan. Photos by Alex Barber, courtesy of Project Row Houses.

Lawson Academy and Yellowstone Academy

Lawson Academy/WALIPP Preparatory Academy, a charter school encouraging the continued quality education of young students in the Third Ward, uses a creative academic curriculum focused on middle school students—growing a strong community, one scholar at a time. The foundation committed $1 million matching grant toward the capital campaign for the construction of the academy.

The foundation also contributed a grant in 2017 to Yellowstone Academy, the premier Christian private school in the Third Ward serving pre-K3 through 8thgrade students, to close its campaign and support the school’s overall efforts to offer its educational model to even more families. Read more about Yellowstone Academy.

Emancipation Economic Development Council

With $2.25 million in support from the foundation in 2016, the Emancipation Community Development Partnership has studied affordable housing, equitable economic development and ongoing community planning and set the stage for new investments and initiatives. The foundation went on to commit funding in 2017 toward the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s (EEDC) seven “early impact projects” which include programs encouraging sustainable employment for local residents, feasibility of and reception to small affordable housing units, and other neighborhood improvement initiatives. In 2018, $500,000 of this grant was directed to the EEDC for first-year operating support as the organization begins work on several of the initiatives that were studied over the past two years, including the Emancipation Avenue Main Street program, a small business assistance program and an “anchor institutions” initiative that works with nearby universities and hospitals to hire Third Ward residents and small contractors.

PRH Preservation, Inc.

With initial funding of $2 million from the foundation in 2018, Project Row Houses formed PRH Preservation, Inc. whose mission is to maintain and enhance existing buildings in Houston’s Northern Third Ward to ensure long-term, safe, and affordable housing for its residents.

The Law Harrington Senior Living Center

In July 2019, the Kinder Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to the Law Harrington Senior Living Center to establish an affordable independent living center for LGBTQ-affirming seniors at 2222 Cleburne Street. The center, which will offer 112 one-and two-bedroom apartments for low income seniors in the Third Ward, will break ground in August 2019 and is slated for completion in 2020.

Rendering courtesy of Smith and Company Architects

Blue Triangle

In 2018, Kinder Foundation awarded $100,000 to the Blue Triangle Multi-Cultural Association to help restore John Biggers’ 1953 mural “Contribution of Negro Women to American Life and Education,” which suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey. In December 2022, the Foundation granted $300,000 for renovations to the Blue Triangle Community Center, a registered Texas Historical Landmark and a symbol of community, service, and legacy in Third Ward.

University Village Pocket Park

In late 2021, Kinder Foundation granted $550,000 to Houston Parks Board in support of the University Village Pocket Park renovation. Designed from input from Third Ward community members, the 5,000 square-foot pocket park will provide a play experience area including a rope swing, hopscotch court, and foursquare, and offer features like a walking trail and picnic tables. Other site enhancements include sidewalk improvements, fencing and lighting. The park is on track for completion in late summer 2023.

Kinder Foundation has also provided financial support to Workshop Houston, Urban Harvest, and Lucille’s 1913.

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