April 2020 Newsletter
Meeting Cancellations: Mayor Sylvester Turner signed a proclamation declaring a Local State of Disaster due to a Public Health Emergency to help contain and mitigate COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from spreading. As a result of the emergency order, all City sponsored, co-sponsored and permitted events are cancelled through the end of April. Thus, all Complete Communities meetings have been postponed. As new dates are set, we will update the Complete Communities website with the latest information. Thank you. See press release about coronavirus health concerns .
Mayor Turner partners with the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation and Comp-U-Dopt to help close digital divide for students during COVID-19 health crisis

HOUSTON - In response to the challenges of the digital divide and school closures caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis, Houston Rockets star, Russell Westbrook, and his nonprofit organization, the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation announced a partnership with the City of Houston and Comp-U-Dopt. Click here to link to the full article.
COVID-19 Resouces, Updates and Information

City of Houston: Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips, and more.

Harris County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hub: https://www.readyharris.org/

Houston Resource Guide: https://www.cdrchouston.org/resources

Complete Communities Special Edition: Stay Home, Work Safe
Census 2020

Practice Social Distancing by taking the Census online or by phone! Visit myCensus2020.gov or call 1.844.330.2020.

Your responses to the 2020 Census help complete our communities. Data collected from this survey is used to distribute our fair share of federal funding to support our city with road improvements, pre-school and after-school programs, medical care, meal distributions, disaster recovery and affordable home development.

You are a trusted voice in your community. Text ten friends and family members and encourage them to respond to the 2020 Census Survey today! Post a picture or a video encouraging your social media family to take the Census. You can use the hashtags #YestotheCensus #HoustonCounts #ISaidYEStoCensus2020 !
Community Toolbox

The Local Housing Solutions team has put together a running list of homelessness outreach efforts, eviction moratoriums, and other housing-related advice that localities across the country have utilized to keep their communities safe during the novel coronavirus pandemic. For more information, click here .

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides grant funds to states and territories to provide families with financial assistance and related support services. State-administered programs may include childcare assistance, job preparation, and work assistance. Click here for the program requirements and application process .  
Community Updates
Stay up to date on all Complete Communities neighborhood action plans, activities, and accomplishments! Read more about the 10 Complete Communities.
Acres Home
COVID-19 Testing in Acres Home: UT Physicians, a part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, is offering a drive thru testing site in Acres Home at UT Physicans Victory Drive-Thru, 7364 Antoine Drive. For more information, click here or call 713-486-CO19 (2619).
Houston Community College Earns Top 50 Hours: Great Value Colleges has named Houston Community College’s IDEAStudio one of its top 50 Best Maker Spaces. IDEAStudio is housed at HCC’s West Houston Institute (WHI), located on the Alief Hayes campus. The studio’s name is an acronym for Innovation, Design Entrepreneurship, Arts & Sciences. For the past two years, it has served students and faculty using both traditional and cutting-edge technologies. See the list of Maker Spaces here
Fort Bend Houston
The Fort Bend Houston Super Neighborhood 41 hosted its 3 rd Annual Significant Gala. The gala is the super neighborhood's biggest fundraiser. This year's theme was “Harlem Nights.” Proceeds from the gala will provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the community and cover operating expenses. U.S. Congressman Al Green of the Texas 9th Congressional District was this year’s gala Legacy Award Recipient.  
Census 2020 Mural: On March 12, Up Art Studio revealed the first of five Yes! to Census 2020 murals in the Gulfton community. The mural, located at 6227 Southwest Freeway, is to build awareness of the current 2020 Census campaign, and the importance of being counted. Four other locations include Alief, Aldine, South Central Houston and Montrose. Local artists are working with community residents to create bold and colorful murals depicting the area’s unique ethnicities and character, relaying one simple message: Yes! to Census 2020.

Artist: Anat Ronen, Eduardo Membrano, Assistant Artist.

Nativity Academy Provides Food for Students: The San Francisco Nativity Academy, located in the middle of the La Plaza apartment complex, consists of 77 students. On Monday, March 23, Principal Lupe Hernandez, school staff, and the Houston Food Bank partnered to provide the school's students f ood for five days . Houston Food Bank delivered fresh produce for the school's staff to pack along with the food for the school's families. The school and the Houston Food Bank will continue to provide food for their students during the coronavirus outbreak.
Kashmere Gardens
Union Pacific To Submit Cleanup Plan By Summer: Union Pacific, a company that owns a rail yard site between Kashmere Gardens and Fifth Ward known to contain creosote, a probable cancer-causing substance, will submit a cleanup plan to the city by this summer.

Specifically, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requested the cleanup plan along with a revised permit application from Union Pacific. The area is formally known as the Houston Woods Preserving Works site in which the owner has provided a website showing the current work on the site. Early in March, Texas Senator Borris L. Miles, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Department of State Health Services, and officials from the TCEQ joined together to provide an update on the site. “There is still more work to be done in this area to clean up what I consider environmental racism. The state of Texas is not going to allow Union Pacific to ignore this site that has been plaguing our community for three decades,” said Senator Miles. Read more about UP cleanup.

Pictured above: Railroad tracks near Kashmere Gardens. Photo: Houston Public Media
Magnolia Park-Manchester
Project Brays Update: The Lawndale Street Bridge over Brays Bayou will begin construction this spring and detours will be in place for several months. For updates and detour maps, please visit the Magnolia Park project page . Project Brays is an effort to reduce the risk of flooding along Brays Bayou through more than 75 projects, in addition to providing green space and recreational amenities to the surrounding communities
Near Northside
Near Northside Neighborhood Safety Assessment: Over the past year, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research worked with community partners, such as LINK Houston, BakerRipley, and the University of Houston’s Psychological Health and Learning Sciences Department, to conduct a two-part assessment of the Near Northside neighborhood.

The first part of the assessment focused on surveying residents to collect input on street safety concerns. The second part used a detailed walk audit to create an inventory of pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit street infrastructure. These findings are presenting through various maps and charts. You can read the full reports here . These reports are part of the Kinder Institute’s Houston Community Data Connections (HCDC) Dashboard that provides multiple community profiles with a variety of neighborhood-level indicators highlighting local issues. You can access the dashboard through this link .

Pictured above: METRORail Red Line on Fulton Street
Second Ward
Assistance for Business Owners: The East End District and the East End Chamber of Commerce have posted helpful resources for business owners impacted by COVID-19 at https://www.eastenddistrict.com/small-business-assistance-is-available-now/ and https://www.eecoc.org/blog/covid-19-recovery-5068/post/business-support-23379 .
Census 2020: Click here to see a census public service announcement by Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz.

Sunnyside Community Redevelopment Organization Website: The Sunnyside Community Redevelopment Organization has launched its official website and Facebook page in order to help provide information to Sunnyside residents about things like food supports and the new Sunnyside COVID-19 testing site. Visit them at https://scrohouston.org/.
Third Ward
Emancipation Trail receives Legislation: Recently, the Emancipation National Historic Trail received federal designation to document and preserve the 51-mile journey from Galveston to Houston taken by newly freed slaves rebuilding their lives after learning of the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years after enactment. The route ends at Emancipation Park and will draw visitors from all over the world to visit this area and walk the trail.