Power to the people
Single parent, two young children, high school graduate, limited financial resources, seeking an opportunity to start a business. Sound impossible? Not at the Bethune Empowerment Center. Thanks to two ambitious Houston programs, residents in Houston’s Acres Homes neighborhood can tap into resources for personal development and business incubation while simultaneously improving their community.
Through a public-private partnership, Urban Partnerships Community Development Corporation (UPCDC) and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities Initiative, the Bethune Empowerment Center will bring tangible positive benefits to this historically underserved community. Certified community-based development organization, Houston Business Development Inc. (HBDi), is leading the project development. TXRX Labs also partnered with UPCDC on the project. PRISM worked with UPCDC to develop the marketing renderings used for this inspiring community development.
The project is a renovation of an existing Aldine elementary school into a workforce and economic development hub. The Bethune Empowerment Center will provide personal skills resources, including basic education, job training, and apprenticeships. A convenient, low-cost childcare center will be located onsite.
To cultivate new businesses, the Center will also provide low-cost incubation space, co-working areas, early-stage mentorship, and financial resources for start-ups. Phase 1 of the project, the renovation, began in August 2021 and finished at the end of 2022. Phase 2 is new construction adjacent to the existing buildings. It totals 75,000 s.f. and includes offices, a maker hub, light manufacturing, a youth area, plus a parking garage. The expected completion is Q4 2023.