Two Houston Third Ward Ministries Merge Together

April 23, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Forge for Families, an outreach ministry to impoverished children and families in Houston’s Third Ward, will celebrate its merger with a kickoff luncheon at the Parador this Tuesday, April 25, at noon. Elizabeth Wareing will serve as honorary chair.
The luncheon will raise funds for the ministry’s operating expenses over the next year.“We exist to move the least, the last, the locked out and the left behind from betterment to empowerment,” said Forge CEO Rufus Smith.
The Forge for Families was birthed when two previous Third Ward ministries merged on December 31. Inner City Youth focused on youth ministry, while Refuge Community Development Center focused on single adult programs. The merging of the two, resulting in the Forge, allows for a bolder vision, better management and broader impact in comprehensive family ministry to the Third Ward.
“After all is said and done, kids go home,” said Smith. “And society is only as strong as its homes.” Forge programs include after-school enrichment, seasonal sports for children and youth, a Saturday college prep, 12-step recovery support groups, ex-offender social reintegration, adult life skills and mentoring, parenting classes, and crisis counseling.Summer programs are anchored by a youth entrepreneurship program for 10-15 year olds that emphasizes financial literacy and work ethic and a discipleship-intensive summer leadership program for older teens.
The Forge has raised $2.9 million of a $4 million capital campaign, which will result in a multipurpose facility that will house classrooms, gyms, a computer lab, nutritional learning center, and common areas conducive to relational ministry. Groundbreaking on the capital campaign is slated for the fall, with projected completion in fall 2007.