The mission of the Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) is to transform far East Dallas into a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community by inspiring hope and working together to achieve a shared vision.
FRI facilitates the community’s vision for the complete economic revitalization of far East Dallas, guided by our core values; Leadership, Community, Respect, Integrity, Stewardship.
Established in 1998 as a nonprofit 501(c3) organization, the Ferguson Road Initiative was formed by neighborhood leadership. They united and began proactively addressing crime issues that were the root cause of the area’s urban blight, business degeneration, retail abandonment, poor DISD school performance, substandard multi-family housing and diminishing property values. Today, FRI engages in law enforcement, community policing, health, education, and housing initiatives in a holistic effort to restore this Far East Dallas community through crime reduction, public safety, economic development, and quality of life programs benefiting more than 73,000 residents.
“The Ferguson Road Initiative has spent the last 13 years working to ‘weed out’ crime and to ‘seed in’ human resources by growing people, their lives and their families.
Now they are looking towards the next decade at how to grow their economy by uniting the business community with their residents. They are looking towards the future, they are mastering the art of fusing the pro bono abilities of their volunteers and leaders to find entrepreneurial ways to reshape and restore their community.”
Mayor Mike Rawlings
From 2000 to 2011, FRI addressed community challenges through a Department of Justice federally funded program, Weed & Seed. By “weeding” out crime and “seeding” in economic development and social services programs, the residents and businesses in this community now see signs of restoration and revitalization. FRI-managed programs specifically target families who are the most vulnerable and have raised the quality of life for all who live, work, worship, attend school, and play in the area. By working together, the community is achieving its vision and momentum is growing. In April 2011, the federal Weed & Seed grants were complete. While this significant funding stream no longer exists, FRI has moved from a Public Provider to a Member Motivator model for its funding stream. This model is called the FRI Community Connection. FRI is sustaining and will expand its programs as it builds revenue streams through this membership based program. Members include residents, local business, corporate initiatives, individual contributions and foundation grants.
Who We Serve
FRI represents a broad ethnic diversity and wide income disparity; from a neighborhood near White Rock Lake (Forest Hills/Casa Linda areas), to adjoining areas of much less prosperous, middle-income to low-income single family homes and 62 apartment complexes. According to the 2010 census, among the 73,000 residents served by FRI, 59% are African-American, Hispanic or other ethnicity. Resources are focused in areas where most of the multi-family population lives near or below the poverty level. Located in Far East Dallas, FRI boundaries include Interstate 30 to the Dallas City Limits at Mesquite to Interstate 635 to Garland Road to White Rock Creek; FRI is contained entirely within Dallas County, Texas.
What We Do
From inception, FRI has worked to address crime, urban blight, lack of economic development and poor public school student performance. Crime has been successfully reduced through partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and the mobilization of 35 neighborhoods. There is renewed investment in the community with the construction of affordable, middle and high income housing, as well as new retail stores. FRI has also established solid relationships with four area public schools. School programs to promote family involvement, recruit volunteers, and provide after school programming and academic enrichment opportunities on campuses, such as family field trips, help increase parental involvement in public schools.