Friendship Festival 2020
Saturday •July 11th
music...lots of food...games
Free raspas 6:00 to 7:00
Inner City Development Celebrates
52 Years of Service to Westside Community
at Annual Friendship Festival
SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2020, 6 PM – 11:30 PM
This Westside non-profit helped launch San Antonio Habitat Humanity, San Antonio Alternative Housing Corp. and San Anto Cultural Arts
San Antonio, TX — Inner City Development is a nonprofit, community based organization that responds to emergency, educational, and recreational needs of the neighborhood on the near Westside of San Antonio in the vicinity of the Alazan-Apache Public Housing Project. It has been operating in this area, the economically poorest area of Bexar County, since 1968. The mission of the organization is to lift the dignity of the individual. This is done by providing critical, supportive, basic life services and inspiring persons to participate in the betterment of their neighborhood through volunteerism. With the exception of one part-time administrative assistant, the organization is run by an all-volunteer staff and administration.
Patti and Rod Radle have been the volunteer co-executive directors of Inner City for the past 50 years and are looking forward to celebrating this westside institution. “So many people, businesses, churches and schools have volunteered, donated or supported Inner City over the years and we want to invite everyone to come out on July 11th and celebrate being a part of Inner City,” states Rod Radle. “The organization would not be here today if it was not for the support of the community.”
Since its establishment in 1968, Inner City has provided baseball, basketball and soccer leagues, education programs, art programs and field trips to children on the near Westside of San Antonio. In the summer, Inner City registers between 300 to 400 children for its recreation program, supervised primarily by teenagers and adults who grew up in the program. Over the years, Inner City has provided groceries to between 50 to 300 families in crisis each month. The emergency clothing program has served thousands of children and families. Inner City also has a sack lunch program for the homeless, a key component of which is to engage with those who come for this service.
Inner City Development continues searching for more ways to make a difference in the San Antonio community, especially on the Westside. But, according to the Radles, one of the greatest accomplishments is in the community ownership of the programs. “The programs we have today are now run by the children and teens who used to be in the programs. There is a great love for these programs because they have affected so many children’s and family’s lives,” says Patti Radle. “This is truly a community working together and having a lot of fun doing it.”
Inner City’s reach goes even beyond its own programs. The organization and its volunteers helped to establish three other non-profits that serve the community: Habitat for Humanity (San Antonio chapter), San Antonio Alternative Housing Corp. and San Anto Cultural Arts.
In the mid-seventies, Faith Lytle kept busy making puppets with children in the art room and distributing emergency food to families. But one day, looking at the very dilapidated houses across the street from Inner City, she decided to write to her friend Millard Fuller, who was working in Africa building houses, to ask him to do in America what he was doing in Africa. When it was time for him to return from Africa, he did just that. Faith arranged for Inner City directors Patti and Rod Radle to go to Americus, Georgia with another housing enthusiast, Mary Emeny. At that meeting of housing advocates from across the U.S., in a remodeled chicken coop, Habitat for Humanity was born. With Faith Lytle, her church and Inner City volunteers were a step ahead on organizing a chapter and meetings were held for years at Inner City. In 1976, the first Habitat for Humanity home in the U.S. was built two blocks from Inner City.
In 1993, a staff member of the The San Antonio Housing Trust who knew about Inner City’s concern for housing, called the center and asked if Inner City wanted the three houses that a neighboring parish had been given to help start a housing program. There was a new pastor and he did not want to get involved with housing. Inner City took the three houses and a fourth that a neighborhood grocer donated, and, knowing how much time a program like this would take, established an independent housing non-profit to build affordable houses and apartments—San Antonio Alternative Housing Corp. Since its establishment, SAAHC has renovated or built over 4,000 apartment units and has built over 400 homes.
Inner City has always had a dedication to the arts. In 1992, Manuel Castillo became involved with Inner City, doing office assistance work while looking to find a way to establish a public art program. Inner City helped him and a core of friends establish Inner City Cultural Arts in 1994 with its first mural and newspaper dedicated that summer. Since then, Inner City helped this program become its own independent non-profit—San Anto Cultural Arts. It has since produced over 50 murals and continues its community newspaper, El Pracazo.