Inception – The concept of the Greater Inwood Partnership (GIP) was proposed in late 1991 or early 1992 by representatives of the Aldine Independent School District. The proposal was to create a partnership of schools, residences, and businesses within the GIP area to promote the welfare of the community. The first meeting of the partnership was held in September of 1992. Articles of Incorporation formally establishing the Greater Inwood partnership as a Texas nonprofit organization were filed with the Secretary of State of Texas in January, 1993.
The Survey – Within the first several months of its existence GIP’s directors determined that a survey of residents and businesses within the BIP boundaries should be conducted to investigate what were perceived to be the strengths and weaknesses of the area and to determine what were topics of concern. The results of the survey directed much of GIP’s attention and many of its activities the first several years of its existence, and resulted in the creation of specific committees to address the concerns. Two examples of such committees are the Community Pride Committee and the Security Committee.
Mission Statement – A Mission Statement was formulated at a day long retreat attended by GIP officers, directors, and other interested persons. The efforts and activities of those participants resulted in the following mission statement:
The Greater Inwood Partnership is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization devoted to developing, encouraging, promoting, beautifying, protecting and unifying the Greater
501 (c)(3) Status – After a dedicated effort, GIP obtained its 501 (c)(3) status in March, 1996 based on an application that emphasized its educational and charitable activities. The application highlighted the partnership’s annual grant of scholarships to community oriented students, along with community gatherings, improving relationships between the community and area schools, seeking to coordinate efforts among security services, working with area businesses and beautification projects as the basis for its charitable and educational emphasis.
Scholarship grants and Endowment Fund – From its inception, GIP has contributed tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to community-minded high school seniors who attend school and/or reside within the GIP boundaries. Over $60,000 has been awarded in scholarships. In addition, an Endowment Fund was created with Houston Community College (now Lone Star College).
Education – in addition to providing scholarships for worthy Inwood area students, GIP created a student mentoring program, hosted classes to community service workers, drove speaking forums for topics that impacted the area, and delivered outreach classes to the Houston area in “How to Create Community”.
Beautification – From its inception, GIP has had a committee that has focused on the improvement of the appearance of the GIP area and its approaches. This included volunteer “cleanup” days, planting of more than 4,000 trees and shrubs, and supervision of hundreds of Harris County community service workers performing trash collection.
Organization of Near Northwest Management District – Around the second or third year of its existence, GIP officers and directors decided the organization should investigate creation of a residential management district to help provide and enhance public services and capital improvements to the area. With input from then State Representative Sylvester Turner, the idea of a residential management district was discarded and instead GIP wrote proposed legislation for a business management district. Ultimately, the district was created by the Texas Legislature in 2001. The Near Northwest Management District performs some of the functions previously performed by the GIP.
Super Neighborhood – Mayor Lee Brown created in Inwood Area Super Neighborhood as part of his city-wide Super Neighborhoods Program. The super neighborhood elects a council comprised of area residents and stakeholders that serves as a forum to discuss issues and identify and implement priority projects for the area. As an early participator in this program, the GIP board was able to help innovate the program from the ground up.