Related Searches

ward off

Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas

The Fifth Ward is a historical political district ward of Houston, Texas, United States, northeast of downtown Houston.

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.


After the American Civil War, newly freed slaves (freemen) began settling in the sparsely settled area. In 1866, it became the Fifth Ward and an alderman from the ward was elected to Houston's City Council. By the mid-1880s, it was virtually all black, home to working class people who made their livings in Houston's eastside ship channel and industrial areas or as domestics for wealthy Houstonians. Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, founded in 1865 by a former slave, is the oldest church in the ward. Five other churches are over a hundred years old. Also home to the famous "Island of Hope (Anderson Memorial Temple) COGIC" the oldest Pentecostal church in Fifth Ward. Over the years it had been home to the city's minority and immigrant population. Although it had been a mostly black area, Latinos, Filipino Americans, Pakistani Americans, and Italian Catholics also moved there.

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 is currently located in City Council District B.

Federal representation

The Fifth Ward is in Texas's 18th congressional district. Its representative as of 2008 is Sheila Jackson Lee.


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Area students attend schools in the Houston Independent School District, including E.O. Smith Education Center and Wheatley High School.

Private schools

A Kindergarten through 8 Roman Catholic school called Our Mother of Mercy School is in the area

Public libraries

The Fifth Ward is served by the Houston Public Library Fifth Ward Branch

Community services

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 Houston Fire Department operates Station 19 Fifth Ward on 1811 Gregg Street, and the Houston Police Department's Northeast Patrol Division serves the neighborhood.

The Swiney Community Center is located in the Fifth Ward.

Legacy Community Health Services is located at the Lyons Avenue Health Center.


In 1922, a group of Louisiana Creoles organized the Fifth Ward community of "Frenchtown," which contained a largely Roman Catholic and Creole culture. When new residents no longer resided in Frenchtown, the neighborhood culturally merged with the greater Fifth Ward. The Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, completed in 1930 by Creoles for Creoles, serves as a social center for the neighborhood.

The Houston Press described the Continental Zydeco Ballroom at 3101 Collingsworth as serving as the "Saturday-night focal point" for Frenchtown for several decades.

Notable residents


The fictional hard-boiled "detective" Easy Rawlins (created by author Walter Mosley) was raised in Houston's "notorious" Fifth Ward.

The 1994 romantic drama film Jason's Lyric, starring Allen Payne and Jada Pinkett Smith, is set in the Fifth Ward.

The February 21, 2007 episode of the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds was set in the Fifth Ward.


External links

See also

Search another word or see ward offon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature