Ferguson Road Initiative
2011 Annual Report
Ferguson Road Initiative is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, community-based, umbrella organization. Primary operations include management of Weed & Seed, Crime Watch activities, and social service and economic development initiatives in far East Dallas.
Vision: The complete economic revitalization of far East Dallas. This results from successful partnerships between the Ferguson Road Initiative, neighborhood and Crime Watch Groups, and public/private initiatives.
Mission: To transform far East Dallas into a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community by inspiring hope and working together to achieve a shared vision.
Our primary purpose is to create a better quality of life for all people along the Ferguson Road corridor in far East Dallas. Below are four strategic goals with accompanying programs.
Leadership: FRI is a volunteer lead, membership driven organization. Annually hundreds of volunteers contribute thousands of hours of service to create and sustain services to meet our goals and objectives to making the Ferguson Road corridor safe, beautiful, prosperous, proud and vibrant place to live, work, worship, and raise our families. In 2011, over 378 volunteers contributed over 8,000 hours of service.
INCREASE SAFETY & DECREASE CRIME
IN THE COMMUNITY CRIME WATCH AND PUBLIC SAFETY PROGRAMS
Reducing crime and promoting public safety is central to the quality of life in our community. Through our Weed & Seed strategy, FRI provided additional Dallas police patrols in the FRI 2-Points Weed & Seed community to reduce crime. Our partnerships with the Dallas Police Department, other law enforcements agencies, neighborhood Crime Watch groups, code
compliance and community prosecution make our community a safer place to live.
50,518 adults, 22,780 youth and 37 community organizations (neighborhood associations, crime watch groups and HOAs) were served through FRI programs. FRI neighbors have been realizing a significant reduction in violent and property crimes. Over 3,000 children attended a multi-law enforcement sponsored pre-summer health safety fair. As part of our ongoing partnership with the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the National Crime Prevention Council, we sponsored and trained more than 50 Dallas Police Officers and Neighborhood leaders in the special skills associated with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Vacant and Foreclosed Properties. As part of our special partnership with the Texas Attorney General’s Office 173 victims of domestic violence received counseling, we participated in 23 special victims events and reached over 28,029 residents with information about domestic violence prevention.
Partners: City of Dallas, Dallas Police Department, neighborhood Crime Watch Groups, National Crime Prevention Council, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Dallas City Attorney’s Office and many other law enforcement entities.
- Crime Watch
- Volunteers in Patrol
- Neighborhood Leadership Development
- National Night Out
- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
- Crime Watch Toolkit
- Uniformed Officers on overtime patrols
- Community Prosecutor
- Community Code Compliance Program
- Children’s Summer Safety Fair
- Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Workshops
ANTI-DRUG & ANTI-GANG EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Gang and drug education is a vital initiative to prevent and reduce youth violence. Adult mentors are involved in our programs that provide anti-drug and anti-gang education, conflict resolution, leadership skills and alternatives to peer pressure. Every youth (over 2,300) in FRI neighborhood elementary schools and all middle school students (over 1,200) received at least one hour of anti-gang/anti-drug education through FRI programs; 12 students attended an intense “boot-camp” leadership/anti-drug residential camp and monthly follow-up training during the summer hosted by the U.S. Navy and the USDOJ.
Partners: Dallas Independent School District, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Baylor Hospital Police Department
- Anti-Drug Education Workshops
- Anti-Gang Education Workshops
- Drug Education for Youth (DEFY)
BEAUTIFY & MAINTAIN THE WHOLE COMMUNITY
Maintaining our beautiful community not only makes far East Dallas a pleasant place to live but also is a crime prevention tool. A well-maintained community impacts crime reduction. Year-round projects supported by volunteers keep graffiti and litter controlled. In addition, volunteers assist with individual projects for our senior citizens and low income families. (378 volunteersserved the community through FRI projects.)
Partners: Boy Scouts, Lakehill Preparatory School, Episcopal School of Dallas, Storyline Christian Community, New Hope Community Church, Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas Independent School District, and neighborhood associations
- Community-Wide Graffiti Cleanup Campaign
- Annual Keep White Rock Hills Beautiful Litter Abatement Campaign
- Land use study was developed and submitted to the City Planning Commission and City Council from White Rock East ( the2-Points Weed & Seed Community).
PROVIDE SOCIAL SERVICES, EDUCATION & RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
CHILDREN AND YOUTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Neighborhood-based academic and enrichment programs in our partner DISD schools, apartment complexes and churches give children and youth opportunities for academic and self development that otherwise would be inaccessible. (170 children and youth served through FRI programs; 451 children and youth served with FRI Partners, and 1,200 children received free eye exams and glasses)
Partners: Creative Arts Center, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, Enchanted Hills Apartments, New Hope Community Church, White Rock Branch YMCA, White Rock Hills Townhomes, Wilkinson Center, Museum of Nature and Science, TECO, Essilor Foundation, Lions Clubs of North Texas and many more.
- After-School Tutoring
- Kids Clubs
- Satellite Learning Centers
- Family Kite Day
- Family Cultural Field Trips
- Special FRI science and math education symposiums
- Free eye exams and glasses
CHILDREN & YOUTH RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS
Neighborhood park projects give children and youth a healthy place to play and meet with their friends in a family friendly environment. (500 children and youth served by FRI Programs and Partners)
Partners: City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department
- Sprayground at Ferguson Park (thousands of children served)
- Skatepark at Lakeland Hills Park/Dallas only public Skatepark (thousands of youth served)
- Send a Kid to Camp
- Bayles Elementary Kite Day
ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Programs enhance and improve language, computer, financial literacy, job and parenting skills to help people help themselves, which advances family and community stability. (174 adults served with FRI Programs and Partners); including establishment of a four new computer labs, one with ten computers included language training software targeting a Burmese refugee community, two labs, with six computers each, were placed at two area low income apartment complexes and one with ten computers was placed at an area church. A total of 36 computers were provided by a private anonymous donor.
Partners: Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church, Shiloh Village Apartments, Hope 4 Refugees, New Hope Community Church, Wilkinson Center, the Family Place and many more.
- English as a Second Language (ESL) [English/Spanish, English/Burmese]
- General Educational Development (GED)
- Computer Literacy
- Job Skills Training
- Parenting Skills Training
- Financial Literacy
- Summer Camps
- Summer Nutrition Program
- Swimming Lessons
- Art and Photography
- Science & Environment Programs
- Family/Domestic violence prevention
COMMUNITY & FAMILY SERVICE PROGRAMS
Our monthly e-blast, bi-annual newsletter and quarterly Steering Committee meetings keep our community apprised of news and pertinent issues that affect far East Dallas. Social service and tax assistance programs strengthen families and promote community health and welfare.
2,000 people receive the FRI monthly news, event and alert e-blasts
17,000 households receive the FRIdays twice a year
1,157 received services directly from FRI, plus
750 families received a free e-filed tax return with over $1.5 million in refunds, including over 20 families received ITIN numbers over $3.5 million in 5 five years.
Partners: Dallas County Probation Department, Internal Revenue Service, Consumer Credit Counseling/United Way, Dallas White Rock Lions Club, New Hope Community Church, Wilkinson Center, University of Texas at Dallas, Ernst & Young, and Grant Thornton.
- Health, Safety, Housing and Financial Wellness Fairs
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
- IRS ITIN Services
- Fire Victims Support
- Victim’s Outreach
- Food Pantries
- Free Eye Exams and Glasses
- Youth Probation and Mentoring
- Domestic Violence Prevention Education
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Our Capital Bond program has brought more than $30 million in improvements and enhanced amenities to improve the quality of life for residents of our community. Our Economic Development initiatives have helped facilitate more than $100 million in investments throughout the past six years in the form of affordable, middle and high income housing, as well as retail development along the Ferguson Road corridor and John West in the 2-Points area.
Partners: City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, Dallas City Homes, Greenway Development, Primrose @ Highland Falls – Cascade Affordable Housing & Pinnacle Development, Stonegate Development, TREC – The Real Estate Council, Villas on Ash
Creek Development, White Rock Townhome Development, and Weitzman Group.
- Villas on Ash Creek – a townhome community at Lakeland and Ferguson
- White Rock Hills Library (grand opening is June 16, 2012)
- White Rock Hills Community Recreation Center (in the planning stages)
- The City of Dallas Park and Recreation Dept. has purchased a 4-acre lot at 2229 Highland Road for the recreation center. The city has cleared the land of debris, planted grass seed, and has fenced off the area to keep it secure from illegal dumping.
FRI COMMUNITY CONNECTION
November 9, 2011, FRI launched the Ferguson Road Initiative Community Connection with individuals and businesses who believe in FRI because of the impact FRI has had in far East Dallas over the past 14 years. The launch in November brought more than 200 people together and generated new members. Many dignitaries including Mayor Mike Rawlings, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana, who presented FRI with a Department of Justice Proclamation for FRI’s Weed and Seed Programs, as a national model of community building success, attended the inaugural event.
In 2011, a group of local supporting business leaders approached FRI about engaging a larger number of local businesses with our residents and mission of FRI. There are over 2,000 businesses in far East Dallas. The Board, Advisory Council, and key FRI supporters determined through a needs assessment that connecting commerce to community will provide more sustainable funding, volunteers, board development, role models, job shadowing, and employment opportunities that will help FRI continue to serve at risk young people and their vulnerable families as well as continue economic development projects for the community-at-large. At the same time, business members are able to promote their products and services to our community and give residents an opportunity to “shop locally”.
FRI Community Connection Leadership Team has planned a calendar of networking and special events to continue expanding the membership base in order to connect the business community to neighborhoods, schools, faith community, law enforcement agencies, and nonprofits, increasing the number of volunteers and leaders who will keep commerce and community connected and support education programs in local public schools (i.e. Family Field Trips, Drug Education for Youth, Kite Day, and After School Programming), and other FRI quality of life programs including the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and Victim’s Outreach Program.
FRI Community Connection is FRI’s strategic initiative to expand corporate and community support and leverage local resources to continue serving the priority needs of our community:
- Prevent crime and increase safety using a multi-disciplinary partnership
- Strengthen families, facilitating access to quality social and financial services
- Empower the community through advocacy for city bond dollars and private investment supporting neighborhood amenities and economic development