HCCI Logo Header
August 2021 Newsletter
Bethune Empowerment Center Project Launches
with an Acres Home Community Celebration
Recently, the Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC) welcomed the opening of the Sowing Seeds Farmers Market and Community Garden. This existing garden relocated to the BEC at 2500 S. Victory Drive, and continues to provide affordable produce and other items from local vendors.

This community garden launched phase one of the BEC redevelopment project. Future phase one developments also include:

  • administrative office space
  • conference rooms
  • breakroom areas
  • collaborative spaces
  • circulations spaces
  • commercial test kitchen
  • event spaces
  • community meeting rooms
  • multi-use spaces
The community garden is hosted by the Communities of Better Health and the Acres Home Health Action Team. These groups help implement the suggestions provided by residents of Acres Home as detailed in the Acres Home Complete Communities Health Action Plan. For more information about the Sowing Seeds Community Garden, visit the Acres Home Health Action Team website.
Grocery Delivery Service Pilot Launches in Fort Bend Houston
Thanks to Mayor Sylvester Turner and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, HarvesTrolley is rolling into Fort Bend Houston. 
The HarvesTrolley is a mobile grocery store equipped to bring fresh produce, meat, and grocery essentials directly to the community.
For more information about the HarvesTrolley, please contact the District K office at districtk@houstontx.gov or call 832-393-3016.
Love Our Parks Initiative Kicks Off with Improvements
at Zurrie Malone Park in Third Ward
Through a partnership with Cheniere Energy, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Complete Communities Initiative, Third Ward kids can enjoy new playground equipment, park furnishings, a renovated basketball court, public art and other improvements at Zurrie Malone Park.
Located at 2901 Nettleton, this park renovation is the first phase of the Love Our Parks Complete Communities initiative to improve and upgrade neighborhood parks in under-resourced Houston communities. Other parks included in this collaborative effort are Catherine Delce Park in Kashmere Gardens, Earl Henderson Park in Near Northside, and Woodruff Park in the Magnolia-Manchester community.
For more information, visit the Houston Parks and Recreation Department's website.
Learn About Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
at Our Free Virtual Workshop
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) goes by many names: garage apartment, granny flat, tiny house, mother-in-law suite, etc., and can take many forms. Learn all about ADUs in our three virtual workshops. These workshops are free and open to the public.

The first workshop, scheduled at 6 p.m. on August 26, discusses the benefits and basics of ADUs. You will learn what an ADU is, the purposes and benefits of an ADU, as well as design and architectural considerations. Participants will get an overview of Houston’s regulations, guidance on how to build an ADU, and an introduction to the costs and financing. 
This free two-hour workshop will feature Kol Peterson, a renown ADU advocate, teacher, developer and author of “Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.” The workshop is perfect for a homeowner considering building an ADU on their property. 

The first ten participants to register will also receive a copy of Kol Peterson’s book, "Backdoor Revolution." (Recipients must attend the workshop to receive the book.) 

Register for the ADU Basics and Benefits Workshop to attend.
Hurricane Harvey Grants available for Small Businesses
Small businesses recovering from the economic impacts of Hurricane Harvey can receive grant assistance through the Harvey Economic Development Program (HEDP) Small Business Grant Program. Offered by the Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD), this program aims to serve 400-500 businesses with $25.9 million state and federal dollars of assistance with a maximum of $150,000 per applicant.
Businesses must prove their eligibility by providing documents that detail proof of ownership and business existence, payroll, and damages. Visit the Harvey Economic Development Program website for more information. 
Financial Empowerment Counselors Provide In-Person Assistance

Financial coaching is available in-person at three Houston Financial Empowerment Centers. Clients can receive one-on-one guidance on their short and long-term financial plans with certified financial counselors. Virtual appointments are still available as well.
Visit the Acres Home Multi-Service Center, the Magnolia Multi-Service Center, or the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a free financial counseling session. Sessions are available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Call 832-393-1125 to schedule an in-person appointment, or make a virtual appointment. 
Emerging Leaders to Participate in
Complete Communities University
Conducted by the Department of Neighborhoods, this program aims to build the civic engagement skills of emerging leaders by educating participants on how to effectively navigate city services. This program will also cultivate positive relationships between community leaders and city entities.
At least 30 Participants will be chosen to attend each quarter. They will be selected based on their experience and skills, commitment to civic involvement, potential for leadership and neighborhood organizing, and other considerations.
The deadline for applications is August 31. Submit completed applications to cohvolunteer@houstontx.gov
Free Home Repair Available for Qualified Home Owners
Rebuilding Together Houston (RTH) works to serve neighbors in need by repairing homes to bolster neighborhoods and strengthen the Houston community. They believe that everyone deserves a safe home and a safe neighborhood. Eligible low-income single-family home owners may be able to receive free home repairs.

Find out how to qualify at rebuildinghouston.org, or call 713-659-2511. You can reach out by email at intake@rebuildinghouston.org.
Curious About Free Energy Efficiency Upgrades?
You might qualify for free energy upgrades if:
  • You are a residential customer
  • Your home is at least 16 years old
  • Your annual household income qualifies you to meet low-income guidelines or you receive benefits from a public assistance program

Learn about CenterPoint Energy's Agencies in Action program: 855-751-6432.
Acres Home
Construction Skills Training in Acres Home and Gulfton 
The Home Builders Institute (HBI), is a national leader in career training for the building industry. HBI graduates have the skills and certifications needed to work in building and construction.
HBI students can receive work-based learning and training at the Acres Home or Gulfton campuses. Training includes framing, roofing, door and window installation, electrical systems, and more. Students will receive OSHA and other industry-recognized safety certifications.
For more information about the Gulfton campus, contact Bernice Langdon at 346-324-4794 or email BLangdon@hbi.org. For more information about the Acres Home campus, contact Ramona Edwards at 281-309-1012 or email REdwards@hbi.org.
Volunteers Wanted for Community Clean-Up Effort
Join the Alief Super Neighborhood Council (ASNC) in its efforts to keep Alief clean. Residents are needed as block captains to support beautification projects, such as community clean-ups and planting and irrigation for the Alief Community Garden. To sign-up, contact Barbara Quattro at bquattro@sbcglobal.net.
Alief Community Center Survey
Is the Alief community in need of a community center? Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey’s office is requesting the public’s feedback to help determine the need for a community center that would provide senior services and a swimming pool. This project is not yet funded, but your input will help with future project planning efforts.
Please complete the survey and stay up to date with Alief-Westwood Complete Communities by visiting https://www.letstalkhouston.org/aliefwestwood
Attend the Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council Meeting
Meets every third Monday of the month at noon.
For the zoom link, contact:
Sandra Rodríguez, President
(832) 875-0179
Kashmere Gardens
Food Pantry Serves Kashmere Gardens Residents
Target Hunger’s Food Pantry Program distributes monthly food boxes to income-eligible residents in several zip codes in the east/northeast Houston area, including 77026. If you qualify for a monthly food box you can apply online.
Food is also distributed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and fourth Friday at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center on 4802 Lockwood Drive. For additional information, contact the client service coordinator at 281-726-1663. 
Engage Virtually with Guest Speakers at the
Kashmere Gardens Super Neighborhood Meetings
Meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m.
Email kgsnc52@yahoo.com to receive the Zoom meeting
information and to be included on the distribution list.

Guest Speakers:
September 14: Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee
October 12: Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner
Fort Bend Super Neighborhood Council Meeting
Meets every second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
For meeting information contact:
Troy Carter, President
Beat the Heat by Helping to Get More Trees Planted
in Magnolia Park-Manchester and Second Ward
Trees For Houston, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting, protecting, and promoting trees, is accepting tree requests and project submissions from residents in Magnolia Park-Manchester and Second Ward.
Requests for more trees in your community using the link to the online survey below. The survey will allow you to suggest the locations and types of trees you would like to see in your community. A photo of the suggested site can also be uploaded in the survey. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, August 27.
The timeline for project completion depends on the approval process and the success of securing donors for the project.

Magnolia Park-Manchester online survey

Second Ward online survey

For more information, contact Abraham Zorrilla at 832-393-6634 or Abraham.Zorilla@houstontx.gov.
Near Northside
Help Expand Near Northside Job Training Opportunities
How can the Complete Communities Action Plan help expand job training, career development, and placement programs to help prepare Near Northside residents for employment in growing sectors of the economy?
To proactively address the skills gap and prepare residents for the workforce, complete the Skill Training and Community Needs Survey. Feedback collected from this survey will be used to help organize job fairs, workshops, and trainings.
Second Ward
Ice Cream Social at East End Farmer's Market
The East End Farmer's Market is hosting its Friday Night Market on the Navigation Esplanade, 2800 Navigation Blvd., from 6-10 p.m. on Friday August 27. To support the local small business Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream Co. and its move to the Navigation Esplanade, the Market is hosting an Ice Cream Social.
Energy Project Offers Solar Installation Job Training  
South Union Community Development Corp and Houston Renewable Energy Group have partnered with the Sunnyside Energy developers to offer free solar installation training classes. The ten-week mini-certification course will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday evenings starting on September 13.  
Selected on a first-come, first-served basis, 20 students will be accepted into the program and must be temperature-checked, wear a facial mask and remain socially distanced during class. Preference will be given to students that are neighborhood residents, are not enrolled in college, or have a disability.  
For more information, visit the Sunnyside Energy project page, or email us at txteam@solarunitedneighbors.org.
Mobile Market Feeds Third Ward Families 
In a recent collaboration between the American Heart Association, Urban Harvest, Trinity United Methodist Church, and several other organizations, healthy fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 28 at 2600 Holman Street. Contact Dianne Iglehart at 713-861-0137 for more information.
Stay Up to Date