Brighter Outlook, Inc. exists to provide vital assistance, enrichment, and charitable services, directly from the historic, vastly underserved, inner-city community in which it operates. These services include assistance in literacy training, reading skills and tutoring for children, employment assistance, health programs, technology training, senior services, services for pregnant and parenting women, transitional re-entry services and more.
Brighter Outlook, Inc. is a non-profit, faith-based 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Brighter Outlook was formed by the members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, who were moved to create a safe, multi-purpose community center in their neighborhood where children, youth and adults could receive a variety of services.
The historic Stop Six neighborhood is a predominately African American area in southeast Fort Worth. Originally, the neighborhood was the sixth stop on the old Dallas-Fort Worth interurban train line. Some urban renewal in Stop Six began in 2005. However, the physical, educational and social needs of the community are still great.
The Stop Six neighborhood has been historically underserved in terms of social, educational and cultural services. Residents in the area face transportation shortfalls that present significant challenges. It is difficult for them to reach facilities that offer sorely needed recreational, social and senior services.
Demographically, the area is urban, poor, African American, and young. According to City- Data.com, as of 2010 one of every two people in Stop Six lives at or below the poverty line. Of the approximately 6,000 households in 2011, the average annual income was
$27,865. Eighty-seven percent of those reporting race during the 2000 census declared they were African American. Forty percent of the residents at the last census were under age 25.
The Stop Six area has historically had one of highest infant mortality rates in the nation. This shocking statistic may be attributable to a lower level of family support, the high poverty rate, the difficulties that these mostly young mothers have in managing health care on their own, and other barriers to accessing services in their neighborhood. While there is a clinic nearby, there may not be enough social support for getting prenatal care, or getting any kind of well-woman care, in Stop Six.
In addition to challenges at birth, the children of Stop Six have diminished opportunities for enrichment and recreation. Art classes, formal music and dance training and other recreation opportunities are hard to come by in this neighborhood.
Members of the Stop Six community need literacy, life skills and job skills training. Their children need reading, tutoring and cultural enrichment. Their seniors need assistance with medications, and a place to go during the day. The community needs a multi-purpose center, where the physical, mental, social and emotional needs of families can be met. This location cannot simply focus on children, but needs to address the issues specific to the multi-generational families who live in Stop Six.
Brighter Outlook, Inc. sprung from the members of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, which is in the heart of Stop Six. The church of approximately 180 observed the need in their neighborhood, and over the past quarter of a century, they petitioned local government for assistance. When they realized could not wait on help from the city, the church members put forth their phenomenal vision for transforming the lives of children in the community, as well as the parents and grandparents.
This vision of a “brighter outlook” for all of the residents of Stop Six led the church to create the non-profit Brighter Outlook, Inc. Construction of the 15,000 square-foot building adjacent to the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church began in 2007. The intent is for the community as a whole to use the building.
The community center is named the Moses Houston Center for the visionary pastor who sowed the seeds of this vital facility. It is a welcome and well-utilized addition to this neighborhood. Historically, it’s the church which has reached out to offer hope and restoration to those in need. In this community, as in many African American communities, the church is who they are, and the church is where they go.
Over a period of 25 years, this church family saved and raised approximately $200,000 and then formed Brighter Outlook, Inc. The completed building stands as a monument to their foresight that came to fruition with the help of the larger Fort Worth community. Brighter Outlook, Inc. supporters include the Amon G. Carter Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Frank Kent Motor Company, Quicksilver Corporation, Exelon Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, Miller Coors Triathelon Team, Cassco Land Co., Innovative Developers, Inc. and others stepped in with additional funds and in-kind donations to complete the building and its furnishings. Brighter Outlook continues to collaborate with supporters such as Office Depot, Albertsons, Eye Crafters, Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. Coca Cola, Gene & Jerry Jones Family Foundation, Tomilson Touching Lives Foundation, and Ben E. Keith.
With the benefit of a multi-purpose community center where they can get their needs met, the community of Stop Six will be able to develop a brighter outlook, to focus beyond the poverty and challenges of their neighborhood.
The Center is alive with activity each week. Brighter Outlook maintains food and clothing pantries and currently it is the site for programming for senior citizens that include hot meals and activities three days per week. The girls of the community are receiving training in etiquette and character and a mentoring program for young men just recently got underway. During the summer, students will be tutored to follow-up on challenges with subjects during the school year. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has lent her support to Brighter Outlook’s annual school supply drive and is this year’s honorary chair for the 5th Annual Gospel Breakfast benefiting the Center.
When public resources have been depleted, the organization reached out to the elders in the community Fort Worth is a hub for the resettlement of international refugee families and often they arrive in Stop Six in need of help and support. Brighter Outlook has stepped up to aid the refugees and partner On the horizon is more seniors programming, additional after-school activities as well as a vision to implement jobs training
It is possible for the young men of this community to be mentored to become strong fathers.
It is possible for the families of this community to receive the life skills training they need so that their children grow up with hope and love, healthy and happy.
It is possible for the children of this community to view education as a means to obtaining a good job and a good life.
It is possible for the elders of this community to be valued and cherished, to have a place where they can meet, eat and be screened for chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease – two of the leading killers of African Americans.
It is possible that these children and their families will be helped to learn that, as citizens of Fort Worth, they can do something to help other people. It is possible that in a generation, the youth who learned to dance and to love art and learning at the Moses Houston Center will return the blessing to the City of Fort Worth.
All these things are possible for the people of Stop Six, today, with your help.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
With the completion of the Moses Houston Center, Brighter Outlook, Inc. is a haven of hope for many, help for some, and opportunity for all. Currently funds are needed to hire a full time staff person to run the Center. Rev. Bruce Datcher continues to serve as the CEO but in order for the organization to grow faster and become all it can be, staff is needed. With the cost of utilities, maintenance and programs, the Center requires about $100,000 each year or $8,300 per month to operate.
Brighter Outlook, Inc. provides more than a building to the community in Stop Six. They can deliver the very real gifts of help, hope and opportunity directly to those who need it most.
Reverend Bruce D. Datcher, CEO Brighter Outlook, Inc.
P.O. Box 50634
Fort Worth, Texas 76105