Web Site to Accelerate Economic Development; Encourage Safety-Preparedness

HOUSTON, October 3, 2005 - Schipul – The Web Marketing Company, a leading worldwide provider of Web-based solutions to cultivate online communities, has launched an innovative Web portal for the 5th Ward community, located in the inner city of Houston, Texas. The community portal at www.fifthwardhouston.org is designed to accelerate the area’s economic development.

The initiative is part of the 5th Ward/HP i-community, a public/private community partnership between HP and Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, and its project partner, Dialogic Communications Corporation (DCC).

Home to 22,000 people, the median income of 5th Ward residents is $7,600 and 62 percent of the residents live below the poverty line, making the area the lowest-income neighborhood in Houston. The portal partners are taking an innovative approach to change this.

Powered by Schipul’s proprietary Tendenci® Membership Management software, the new portal provides the 5th Ward community the following features:

  • First Responder Alerts:  innovative public safety technology in the portal can alert first responders during potentially life-threatening situations.
  • Emergency Social Services: if a crisis situation were to occur, this module provides for a relief assessment form to help capture and store data from those affected by a crisis, including date of birth and insurance providers.
  • Dynamic Community Content:  the portal provides 5th Ward residents with “all in one place” access to job boards, health information, local events and community initiatives, giving users the ability to add and edit Web site content.
  • Built-in Business Directory:  this feature helps 5th Ward organizations and small- to medium-size businesses market social and economic opportunities to residents.

DCC installed its Communicator! NXT software on the 5th Ward Portal to deliver a state-of-the-art high-speed notification system that can alert first responders during potentially life-threatening situations as well as automate communications between school personnel and parents.

Through the efforts of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a $50,000 federal Economic Development Initiative grant was awarded to the 5th Ward/HP i-community that contributed to the development of the public safety system.

“The 5th Ward Community Portal allows a level of collaboration and information that is foreign to most urban areas,” said Kathy Flanagan-Payton, president and CEO, Fifth Ward CRC. “The site reflects the significant project priorities: homeland security, digital inclusion, economic development, public safety, job creation, education, community growth, and globalization.”

For more information about Tendenci software, contact Kelly Papinchak, Schipul Communications Director, at (281) 497-6567 x 508 or kpapinchak@schipul.com.

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About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company
Schipul – The Web Marketing Company developed and builds on the Tendenci® membership management software. Schipul is based in Houston, and provides marketing services on the Internet to a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s clients include Clear Channel Exhibits, National Pharmacy Technician Association, The Children’s Fund, Wolff Companies and DPK Public Relations. Additional information about Schipul is available at
www.schipul.com and www.tendenci.com.