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A sign indicating Sunnyside's location
A sign indicating Sunnyside's location

Sunnyside is a community south of Houston, Texas, United States.

Sunnyside is outside of the 610 Loop and inside Beltway 8 off State Highway 288 south of Downtown Houston and is predominantly African American. The community's slogan is "Sunnyside Pride." Sunnyside included a landfill, an adjacent garbage incinerator, and several salvage yards; the incinerator has closed.[1] The city of Houston describes Sunnyside's housing as "suburban-style."[2] As of 2007 Sandra Massie-Hines is the honorary mayor of Sunnyside.[3]



Sunnyside, the oldest African-American community in southern Houston, was first platted in 1912.[4] When the community opened in the 1910s, H. H. Holmes, the founder, gave the land the name Sunny Side.[5] By the 1940s area residents established a water district and a volunteer fire department. The City of Houston annexed Sunnyside in 1956.[4]

From the 1980 U.S. Census to the 1990 Census, many African-Americans left traditional African-American neighborhoods like Sunnyside and entered parts of Southwest Houston.[6] Sunnyside lost 30% of its population in the decade prior to August 20, 1992.[7]

Between 1990 and 2000 the Hispanic population of Sunnyside increased by between 5 and 10 percent.[8] As of January 2007, according to a Houston Chronicle article, Sunnyside has many issues with recreational drug use. Phencyclidine (PCP) is cited by the article as a drug popular in Sunnyside.[9]

On August 30, 2007, the Houston Chronicle published an article about a syphilis outbreak in Houston. Marlene McNeese-Ward, the Houston Health Department chief of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention, stated "We're really looking at Acres Homes especially, and Sunnyside, but there's not too many ZIP codes ... where we're not seeing any (cases)."[10]

In 2010 a zip code including much of the Sunnyside area had 118 registered sex offenders; it has the highest concentration of sex offenders of any zip code without facilities designed to house registered sex offenders. While some other Houston areas have higher concentrations of sex offenders than Sunnyside, those areas have specific facilities housing sex offenders. Travis McGee, the president of the Sunnyside Civic Association, said that the Sunnyside area was "dumping field for anything that’s negative" and that he felt fear for area children.[11]


According to the 1990 Census Sunnyside had 3,484 residents. 93.8% of them were African-American, 4.2% were Hispanic, and 2% were White, Asian, or other. The median household income was $12,477, compared to the City of Houston median of $26,621. 38.6% of Sunnyside residents lived below the poverty line.[7]


Rafael Longoria and Susan Rogers of the Rice Design Alliance said that Sunnyside could be described as "rurban," a word coined in 1918 which describes an area with a mix of urban and rural characteristics.[12] As of 2008 Sunnyside still has small churches, horse stalls, original frame houses, open ditches, and vacant lots, features which characterize many rural areas. By 2008 a major landfill and incinerator in the area had been converted into a park.[4]

Government and Infrastructure


Local government

Houston Police Department Sunnyside Storefront

The neighborhood is within the Houston Police Department's Southeast Patrol Division [13], headquartered at 8300 Mykawa Road.[14] The Sunnyside Storefront Station is located at 3511 Reed Road.[14]

The Houston Fire Department Station 55 Sunnyside is near Sunnyside at 11212 Cullen Boulevard at Selinsky Road. The station is within Fire District 46.[15]

City Council District D covers Sunnyside. As of 2008 Wanda Adams represents the district.[16] The city operates the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center at 4605 Wilmington Street.[17] The city multi-service centers provide several services such as child care, programs for elderly residents, and rental space.[18] The multi-service center received damage from Hurricane Ike.[19]

During the 1997 Mayor of Houston election, 99% of Sunnyside voters voted for Lee P. Brown.[20]

County, state, and federal representation

Harris County Precinct One, headed by El Franco Lee as of 2008, serves Sunnyside.[21][22]

Sunnyside is located in District 146 of the Texas House of Representatives. As of 2008, Borris L. Miles represents the district.[23] Sunnyside is within District 13 of the Texas Senate; as of 2008 Rodney Ellis represents that district.[24]

Genoa is in Texas's 9th congressional district. As of 2008, Al Green represents the district.[25] The closest United States Postal Service post office is the Martin Luther King Post Office at 9444 Cullen Boulevard.[26]

Sunnyside residents expressed apathy towards the 1992 Republican National Convention, which was held in the Houston Astrodome; residents believed that it did not address issues pertinent to Sunnyside residents. Despite the neighborhood's proximity to the Astrodome, traffic from the convention did not lead to increase of patronage of area businesses.[7]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The community is zoned to Houston Independent School District (HISD) schools. The community is within Trustee District IV, represented by Paula M. Harris as of 2008.[27]

The schools serving Sunnyside proper include Young Elementary School[28], Attucks Middle School[29], and Worthing High School.[30]

Young Elementary opened as Sunny Side Elementary School in 1918; HISD renamed the school in June 1999 after Sunnyside residents petitioned for a renaming of the school. Young shares its campus with South Administrative Alternative Elementary and Drug-Free School. Worthing opened in 1958.[5] After Worthing received a new campus in 1962, Worthing moved out of its former campus, where Attucks opened.[31]

Carnegie Vanguard High School, an HISD magnet school, is near Sunnyside.[32] In 2008 Carnegie Vanguard was chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School.[33]

KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program operates the KIPP Spirit College Preparatory School, a 5th-8th grade state charter school, near Sunnyside.[34] In addition it plans to open KIPP Zenith Academy at 3730 South Acres, near Sunnyside.[35]

Pro-Vision All male Middle Charter School, relocated to the Sunnyside area on November 2008. Pro-Vision was the first all male middle charter school in the State of Texas. Pro-Vision All Male Middle Charter School was established in 1995. Pro-Vision serves grades 5th - 8th. Located on 4590 Wilmington.Pro-Vision's website

Private schools

A Kindergarten through 5 Roman Catholic school called St. Philip Neri School, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, is in the area. It is closed in Spring 2009.[36] The school was consolidated with St. Peter the Apostle Middle School.[37]

Gallery of public schools

Public libraries

W. L. D. Johnson Branch

The W. L. D. Johnson Neighborhood Library of Houston Public Library was located at 3517 Reed Road.[38] The library was named after W.L.D. Johnson, Sr., a man who raised funds for the purchase of the Carnegie Colored Library and served on the board of directors of that library.[39]

Parks and recreation

The city operates the Sunnyside Park and the Sunnyside Community Center at 3502 Bellfort Boulevard. The park and the community center include a playground, an outdoor basketball pavilion, a 0.48-mile hike and bike trail, lighted tennis courts, an indoor gymnasium, weight rooms, meeting rooms, a lighted athletics field, and a swimming pool.[40][41] The community celebrates the "Chocolate Bayou" festival annually.[2]

Community services

The American Red Cross operates the Southeast (Sunnyside) Houston-Harris County Branch Office at 4605 Wilmington Street.[42]


See also


  1. ^ "Sunnyside." Houston HOPE. Retrieved on December 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Sunnyside." Houston Hope Homes. Retrieved on May 2, 2009.
  3. ^ "Volunteers brought Thanksgiving to them." KTRK-TV. Thursday November 22, 2007. Retrieved on April 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Longoria, Rafael and Susan Rogers. "The Rurban Horseshoe." Cite 73. The Rice Design Alliance, (Northern Hemisphere) Winter 2008. Page 20. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names." Houston Independent School District. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  6. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Census tracks rapid growth of suburbia." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 10, 1991. Section A, Page 1.
  7. ^ a b c Roth, Bennett. "Convention '92/Sunnyside feels little warmth from GOP." Houston Chronicle. Thursday August 20, 1992. B10.
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS / Latinos bringing change to black neighborhoods / Newcomers are finding acceptance comes gradually." Houston Chronicle. Monday May 2, 2005. A1. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Crowe, Robert. "Destructive force mars Sunnyside's rebirth," Houston Chronicle, January 27, 2007. A1.
  10. ^ Grant, Alexis. "Houston targets syphilis increase," Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2007. B1 MetFront.
  11. ^ Russell, Rucks. "Sex offenders cause nervous neighbors." KHOU-TV. January 4, 2010. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  12. ^ Longoria, Rafael and Susan Rogers. "The Rurban Horseshoe." Cite 73. The Rice Design Alliance, (Northern Hemisphere) Winter 2008. Pages 18-19. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  13. ^ "Crime Statistics for Southeast Patrol Division." City of Houston.
  14. ^ a b "VOLUNTEER INITIATIVES PROGRAM - Citizens Offering Police Support." City of Houston.
  15. ^ "Fire Stations." City of Houston. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  16. ^ "COUNCIL DISTRICT MAPS > DISTRICT D." City of Houston.
  17. ^ "Sunnyside Multi-Service Center." City of Houston. Accessed October 27, 2008.
  18. ^ "Multi-Service Centers." City of Houston. Accessed October 27, 2008.
  19. ^ Martin, Betty L. "CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN: DISTRICT D / Repairs to streets, sewer lines top list / City's cost affected by age of infrastructure." Houston Chronicle. Thursday February 19, 2009. Retrieved on November 23, 2009.
  20. ^ Bernstein, Alan. "For Brown, ethnic medley with black chorus." Houston Chronicle. Monday December 8, 1997. A1. Retrieved on February 20, 2010.
  21. ^ "Precinct Maps : All Precincts." Harris County. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  22. ^ "" Harris County. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  23. ^ "District 146." Texas House of Representatives. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  24. ^ "Senate District 13" Map. Senate of Texas. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  25. ^ "Congressional District 22." National Atlas of the United States. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  26. ^ "Post Office Location - MARTIN LUTHER KING." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  27. ^ "Trustee Districts Map." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  28. ^ "Young Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  29. ^ "Attucks Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  30. ^ "Worthing High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  31. ^ "Worthing High School History." Worthing High School. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  32. ^ Martin, Betty L. "HOUSTON ISD / Bond benefits Carnegie Vanguard." Houston Chronicle. Thursday December 20, 2007. ThisWeek 4.
  33. ^ "2008 No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private Schools by State." United States Department of Education. Retrieved on November 26, 2008.
  34. ^ "KIPP Spirit College Prep." KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program Houston. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  35. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "New KIPP campuses have younger focus." Houston Chronicle. March 30, 2009. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
  36. ^ "Archdiocesan Announcement Catholic Schools Plan." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. February 5, 2009. Retrieved on February 6, 2009.
  37. ^ Murphy, Bill. "Four Catholic schools to be closed in Houston." Houston Chronicle. February 6, 2009. Retrieved on February 7, 2009.
  38. ^ "Johnson Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  39. ^ "Named Buildings." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  40. ^ "Sunnyside Community Center." City of Houston. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  41. ^ "Tennis Centers and Courts." City of Houston. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  42. ^ "Southeast (Sunnyside) Houston-Harris County Branch Office." American Red Cross Greater Houston.

External links


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