The Sunnyside Community is located in Houston, TX inside the 610 loop near highway 288. This superneighborhood is comprised of five neighborhoods:
- Sunnyside Place
- South Loop Industrial Park Area
- Sunnyside Court
- Sunnyside Park
The community was established in 1912 by H.H. Holmes. By the 1950's the community contained a water district, a fire department, paved roads, and heating services. By the 1970's the community was annexed as part of the City of Houston.
Since its origin the community has held a population of 90% African American. The community still contains historic early framed houses, churches and schools.
Today, this once vibrant community is home to a vast amount of low income housing, crime, and high unemployment rate, which some have attributed to the economic decline of the 1980's. The community also suffers from a wide range of environmental concerns which has been linked to a former garbage incinerator, a land fill, and a salvage yard.
The Historic Sunnyside Community
Social Vulnerability Race & Class
Disasters within themselves do not target communities of color and/or of lower income (Masozera, 2006; Bjarnadottir, 2010). The social characteristics within a community plays a primary role in the vulnerability.
Vulnerability is the lack of “capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist, and recover from the impact of natural hazards (Wisener, 2003,11; Fothergill, 1999).”
There is a strong link between vulnerability, race and economic power which plays a major role in the marginalization of communities (Fothergill, 2003). A community that possess low social, physical, and economic stature will have a higher level of vulnerability placing the community at a higher risk of being impacted by a disaster (Van Zandt, 2012; Bjarnadottir, 2010).