By Rie Conley
I moved to South Hurst the week before the world shut down for the worst pandemic in a century. The city is growing quickly with new stores and housing developments, and home values have almost doubled in the nearly three years I have lived in this area.
The day I moved in, most of the street came in to greet me. This was a huge change from the anonymity that was living in the Alliance region of Fort Worth for the previous decade.
I quickly learned that small town charms can be had within the Metroplex in this little suburb that is centrally located between the urban areas of Fort Worth and Dallas. The town bound together during this trying time to make masks, educate about the many resources offered by the town, support small businesses that prop up this town and so much more.
We then got hit hard by Winter Storm Uri with many of the residents being without electricity for anywhere between four days to almost a week. People opened their homes to their neighbors, checked on more vulnerable residents and helped with cleaning up the debris caused by the storm.
When a church that spread hateful messages entered our community, there was a strong pushback from the residents. Residents went out and protested every week, eventually getting them evicted from the area due to their violent messaging from the pulpit and on the streets. The residents ensured that bigotry didn’t have a home here.
The city is filled with resources for all. The senior citizen center is filled with activities for older residents while the recreation center has many classes for all from the youngest of us to the oldest. Tarrant County College has a campus here that allows many an affordable way to have the opportunity for new, more lucrative careers.
There are a lot of resources available for anyone who needs them. Central Arts has an outdoor food pantry that doesn’t require you to even speak to anyone to get a meal from its fridge and shelves. 6 Stones helps the elderly, veterans and others with necessary home repairs and connects the community with resources for food and clothing.
If I could sum up Hurst in one word, it would be resilience. That resilience relies on the deep community ties within the neighborhood.
Rie Conley is a science teacher at Northstar School in Arlington. She has lived in Hurst since 2020.
Total population: 38,783
Female: 50% | Male: 50%
High school: 23%
Some college: 33%
Bachelor’s degree: 23%
White: 58% | Asian: 4% | Black: 9% | Hispanic: 24% | Two+ races: 3%
Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings: