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Happy New Year!

As we head into 2022, the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities would like to celebrate the work that made 2021 a year of monumental accomplishments and progress for our Houston Complete Communities. Last year, we launched numerous projects and initiatives to address items across the nine Action Plan Categories that all
10 Complete Communities identified as top priorities.
“I am incredibly proud of the work that has gone into projects across all facets of our Complete Communities. The City of Houston and the Complete Communities Initiative worked across private, public, and nonprofit sectors to continue revitalizing and fostering investment in all ten of our Complete Communities. The Complete Communities are a foundation of our city, and I am looking forward to the work to come in 2022 that will continue to transform Houston into a city that rises together.”
-Mayor Sylvester Turner 
“This was a special and exciting year for the Houston Complete Communities Initiative. Our progress on the initiative could not have happened without the incredible support from our local businesses, organizations, and community members. When the Complete Communities are uplifted, the City of Houston is uplifted, and I’m thrilled to carry this momentum into 2022.”

-Shannon Buggs, Director, Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities
Civic Engagement
The Complete Communities initiative set out three goals to expand civic engagement across Houston. First, building a coalition of civic leaders and organizations, second, increasing the capacity of civic clubs and associations, and third, nurturing strong leaders.

Complete Communities University
The inaugural class of Complete Communities University graduated in December 2021. In this course from the Department of Neighborhoods, 23 aspiring civic leaders in eight City Council districts completed leadership training focused on civic engagement techniques to strengthen their existing skills as they work to implement goals, actions, and project aspirations within their communities. Learn more here.

Design for Impact Complete Communities
Through a joint effort of the City of Houston, NOMA Houston and AIA Houston, architects, design professionals, students, community stakeholders, and residents worked together to generate project ideas for ten historically underserved neighborhoods. Volunteer teams generated executable visions for these communities by working closely with residents through a community engaged design process, volunteer teams generated executable visions for these communities. Over 400 residents, 100 design professionals and students, and over 30 City of Houston employees across all city departments, participated in the project. Both participants and observers were able to see firsthand how designing for these underserved communities, with a community engaged design process, helps to build a more resilient fabric and sustainable community legacy. The engagement process helps identify ways to invest in the development of these communities and their current residents without promoting complete gentrification. To watch the presentations, click the links below.
Economy & Jobs
Five goals were established to build the local economy and job opportunities. The goals focused on expanding job training resources, small business opportunities, financial literacy and services, and creating local jobs.

Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC)
In August of 2021, Complete Communities kicked-off the revitalization work that will transform the former Bethune Academy into the Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC) - a centralized workforce and economic development hub in the Acres Home community. A coalition of partners will co-locate in the BEC to provide a collective impact on job training, apprenticeships, skill-building services, small business resources, co-working spaces, and business incubators. Learn more here.
The Edison Center
The Edison Arts Foundation held its groundbreaking ceremony for The Edison Center, a 32,000 square foot cultural arts center with a 400-seat performing arts theater, community health clinic, after-school youth center, outdoor greenspace, two small business incubators, and affordable retail spaces. The Edison Center is expected to attract 80,000 visitors annually generating millions in economic impact, attracting new businesses and jobs, and creating opportunities to increase the quality of life for residents. Learn more here.
The education goals work to ensure that quality educational opportunities exist across the community, strong partnerships are formed between schools, parents, and other partners, and that learning opportunities are available to students of all ages.

HESS Corporation Learning for Life Partnership
Hess Corporation announced a $9 million financial commitment over the next three years as part of its Learning for Life Partnership to fund educational programs and support services for children in Third Ward, Magnolia Park – Manchester, and Second Ward. The commitment will benefit approximately 22 schools and more than 13,000 children from pre-K through elementary, middle, and high school. Learn more here.
Houston Financial Empowerment Center (HFEC)
The Houston Financial Empowerment Center expanded its services to Sunnyside by adding a location at the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center. The HFECs provide one-to-one, professional financial counseling to Houstonians at no cost to residents. Learn more here.
Edison Lofts Pre-K
Early Learning Center
The Edison Lofts Early Pre-K Learning Center was unveiled in August at the Edison Lofts Apartments in Fort Bend Houston. All residents of Edison Lofts Apartments will have free access to the Pre-K Center and the school will also be open to the surrounding community.
Learn more here.
The three goals to improve health across the Complete Communities include expanding access to fresh and nutritious food, increasing opportunities for active living, and ensuring people have access to healthcare and health-related resources.
BeWellTM Acres Home
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center partnered with over 30 organizations to launch BeWellTM Acres Home, an initiative to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and other behaviors to directly improve Acres Home residents’ health. Learn more here.
Harvest Market – HarvesTrolley
The HarvesTrolley mobile grocery store was launched in Fort Bend Houston. This store on wheels brings fresh food and household essentials directly to residents’ doors. Learn more here.
Community Gardens
Community gardens encourage the consumption of local fruits and vegetables and provide hands-on experience and education on nutritious gardening practices. In 2021, community gardens in Houston Complete Communities continued to expand and improve. For example, the Acres Homes Farmer’s Market relocated to the newly built Sowing Seeds Community Garden at the Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC) in August. The Acres Homes Farmers Market provides fresh produce and food goods to the community every first and third Saturday from 10 AM to 1 p.m. at the BEC. Learn more here.
The four Complete Community housing goals focus on building new affordable housing, increasing the number of homeowners, repairing existing housing, and nurturing and growing a community development corporation or community housing development organization.
Edison Lofts
The Edison Lofts, a mixed-income apartment complex in Fort Bend Houston, celebrated its grand opening in August. This $26 million project provides 126 affordable homes complete with an on-site Pre-K Early Learning Center, a clubhouse, and community gathering spaces. This development also includes solar panels that offset 100% of the electrical cost for the community center and leasing office. Learn more here.
Mobility & Infrastructure
The six goals to improve mobility and infrastructure include building safe and complete streets, improving area streets, ensuring the community is flood resilient, expanding mobility and transit, linking the community through trails, and spanning the digital divide.
Vision Zero Houston
Houston Public Works in collaboration with the Vision Zero Houston Initiative continued to make infrastructure improvements in Complete Communities to create safer mobility within our neighborhoods. Read more about Vision Zero-aligned projects including the Hillcroft Safety Improvement Project. Learn more here.
Street Rehabilitation Initiative
Houston Public Works kicked off the Mayor’s Street Rehabilitation Initiative. This initiative focuses on extending the life of existing infrastructure in Complete Communities and across the City of Houston by rehabilitating street surfaces, fixing curbs, storm drains, sidewalks, and bringing ramps up to accessibility standards. Learn more here.
Neighborhood Character
The three goals established to strengthen the character of the Complete Communities focus on beautification, preserving and celebrating history, and expanding arts and culture across the community.

Public Art Selections
The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced multiple community-oriented art installations in Complete Communities.

MOCA previewed three pieces coming to the Alief Neighborhood Center in Spring 2022, all of which were designed by local female artists Bennie Flores Ansell, Falon Mihalic, and the Red Thread Collective – Rakhee Jain Desai, Ami Mehta, and Sneha Bhavsar. Read more here.
MOCA also announced the selection of two local artists, Jesse Lott and Irene Antonia Diane Reece, whose work will become an integral part of the new Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center. Read more here.
Parks & Community Amenities
The three goals to enhance parks and community amenities focus on improving and expanding existing parks, creating a community trail network, and improving existing or building new community centers.

50/50 Parks Partners Initiative
Hartman Park in the Magnolia Park – Manchester community was the first neighborhood park to receive improvements and long-term support as part of the 50/50 Parks Partners Initiative. Updates to the park include the redevelopment of the playground area, new ramps and walkways, new benches, a new bike rack and improvements to park drainage. Read more here.

Love Our Parks Complete Communities Initiative
Four parks in Complete Communities received significant upgrades through the Mayor Turner Love Our Parks Complete Communities Initiative with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Woodruff Park in the Magnolia-Manchester neighborhood, Earl Henderson Park in Near Northside, and Our Park and Zurrie Malone Park in Third Ward all received renovations such as improved lightning, new playground equipment, sidewalk upgrades, new landscaping, and more. Learn more here.
Our Park
Woodruff Park
Earl Henderson Park
Zurrie Malone Park
The three goals to enhance safety in the Complete Communities focus on nurturing partnerships between the community and law enforcement agencies to reduce crime, ensuring pets are safe and healthy, and improving street lighting.
All Lights On, Houston
Houston Public Works and the City of Houston Planning and Development Department launched the “All Lights On, Houston!” campaign to encourage residents to help brighten up Complete Communities by reporting inoperable streetlights or tree canopies that obscure streetlights. Residents in the Complete Communities identified a safety-related captain to participate in the campaign. The captains and city planners were joined by representatives from 311, HPW, and CenterPoint to discuss the steps to report streetlight issues. Learn more here.

You can also watch the video presentation for All Light’s On, Houston here.