The Fifth Ward, one of the six wards of Houston, was created partly from two other wards, the First Ward, which ceded the area to the north and east of White Oak Bayou and Little White Oak Bayou, and the Second Ward, which ceded all land within the Houston city limits to the north of Buffalo Bayou.
A section of the Fifth Ward, Emile Street at Clinton Drive (two blocks east of Hirsch Road/Waco Street), was the Houston Press 2004 "Best Hidden Neighborhood."
KBR is headquartered in the Fifth Ward off Clinton Drive.
In the 1970s and 1980s the Fifth Ward became notorious throughout Houston for the violence perpetuated in the community.
In a 2004 article the Houston Press stated "Say the words "Fifth Ward" to most Houstonians, and they'll think crime, poverty and desperation."
Fifth Ward CRCis a nonprofit community-based agency located in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward community. Kathy Payton is the President and CEO of Fifth Ward CRC which was founded in direct response to a period of negative migration – when businesses were fleeing the community, public schools were closing, school dropout rates and teen pregnancies were increasing and the community as a whole was being decimated by the prevalence of multiple social and economic ills. In 1989, the community responded to the devastation in the Fifth Ward when civic leaders, business owners, ministers and educators came together to establish a point of positive systemic change and Fifth Ward CRC was formed. Since its inception, the organization has operated under the same name, without change. The Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC) is to serve as a catalytic organization dedicated to the collaborative fostering of holistic community development.
Fifth Ward CRC wants to win the battle between revitalization and gentrification.Since its inception in 1989, Fifth Ward CRC has built 300+ new homes, two multifamily complexes totaling 336 units, two commercial developments, four public art installations and two community gateway monuments. It has preserved and renovated two of the most significant landmarks in the area -- the historic St. Elizabeth Clinic and the historic Lonnie Smith house. To support homeownership and enhance affordability, the organization has provided more than $500,000 in second mortgages to those in need – loans averaging between $5,000 and $30,000 that benefited more than 70 individuals and families. Fifth Ward CRC'scorporate offices are located at 4300 Lyons Avenue, Houston, Texas 77020.
The Swiney Community Center is located in the Fifth Ward.
Legacy Community Health Services is located at the Lyons Avenue Health Center.
The Houston Press described the Continental Zydeco Ballroom at 3101 Collingsworth as serving as the "Saturday-night focal point" for Frenchtown for several decades.