Our Story


How it Began

The Net was founded out of Christ Chapel Fort Worth’s college ministry in 2009 as an outreach program targeting the local refugee and homeless communities. With the encouragement and support of the Christ Chapel leadership, we secured 501(c)3 status and officially began an independent non-profit in April 2013.

As an independent organization, The Net needed full-time leadership to oversee our team of volunteers & part-time staff.

Shortly after gaining non-profit status, Melissa Ice transitioned to the full-time role of Founder & Executive Director, with Sarah Bowden joining as full-time Director of Operations. 2015 was our next year of major growth, as we hired Alex Lipari to oversee our Net Center program, Ty Bowden to direct Ladera Kids & M.A.S.E., and Jordan McKenna as our Purchased program manager.


What Drives Us

The Net was founded to do more than offer handouts. It’s our firm belief that people need people more than stuff. They need to be seen, known, and loved. Our purpose with every initiative is to build community and meaningful relationships with people experiencing poverty in Fort Worth.

That approach makes us a little bit different than most non-profits, so we are passionate about bringing in volunteers who have open hearts and the intention to engage in conversation with those we serve. Our staff, volunteers, and donors are all here to address poverty emotionally, socially, and spiritually, rather than just physically.


Our Difference Makers

Our lean, mean full-time team is made up of people who believe in using their powers for good. We don’t believe in absentee leadership so prepare to encounter these friendly faces often. You’ll see our leadership team getting their hands dirty and leading our programs in person.

Melissa Ice
Founder & Executive Director
Sarah Bowden
Director of Operations for The Net + Worthy Co
Ty Bowden
Associate Director of The Net
Alex Lipari
Net Center Director
Jordan McKenna
Purchased Director of Aftercare
Eva Walker
Communications Director

Board of Directors

Our advisory board members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and offer their advice & expertise to help guide and grow The Net.

Misty Davis
Co-Owner, The 4-Eleven
Andy Keetch
Cantey Hanger
Chris Taylor
RAM Interests
Jimmy Williams
Detective, FWPD