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July 2021 Newsletter
New Health and Multi-Service Center To Serve Sunnyside
Work is underway on a new Houston Health Department facility to better serve the Sunnyside community. Mayor Sylvester Turner joined city leaders and community members on July 14 to break ground on the new Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center at 4410 Reed Rd.

The 57,165 square foot center will combine community services and health services programs into one facility. Offerings will include immunization, dental services, family planning, sexual health screenings and services, tuberculosis testing, and WIC services, in addition to programs for mental health, new mothers, and seniors.

A large auditorium, conference rooms, and classrooms are available for neighborhood and non-profit organizations. The site will also include a fitness room, quarter-mile mile walking trail, exercise equipment, community garden, and outdoor seating areas.
"This project is another example of the outstanding collaboration between my Office of Complete Communities, the Houston Health Department, and the community itself. This new center will make a crucial difference and help improve the lives of people in Sunnyside and surrounding communities, among the most under-resourced in our city."

— Mayor Sylvester Turner
50/50 Park Partners Projects Take Shape at
Magnolia Park-Manchester's Hartman Park
Left: Photo by Anthony Rathburn, Houston Parks Board Right: Photo by Alonzo Guadarrama, Hire Houston Youth Intern
Colorful new playground units for children, benches, swings and spinners are just a few of the new updates recently installed fat Hartman Park. Located in the Magnolia Park – Manchester neighborhood in Houston’s East End, the new features completed at this park were through the 50/50 Park Partners initiative with support of over $600,000 in grants and in-kind services committed by Valero Energy Foundation.
The 50/50 Park Partners initiative was created by Mayor Turner as a challenge to Houston companies to join a citywide coalition to advocate for equity and support City of Houston neighborhood parks most in need of improvement. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities, Houston Parks Board, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Greater Houston Partnership, the program provides an opportunity for corporations to reinvigorate under-resourced parks with volunteer work and financial contributions.
Visit Houston5050parkpartners.com to learn more. 
Youth Climate Ambassadors Begin Partnership with EcoRise
The City of Houston's first-ever Youth Climate Ambassadors are hard at work this summer finding creative ways to implement the Houston Climate Action Plan. 

In conjunction with the City's Office of SustainabilityEcoRise and the City's Hire Houston Youth program, the Youth Climate Ambassador program was created to train young Houstonians to be climate leaders in their communities - raising awareness about the impacts of climate change and gathering feedback from historically underserved communities on climate challenges and environmental justice issues. 

The program will allow young people to gain work experience, environmental training, and earn a paycheck to invest in their education. Read the full Youth Climate Ambassadors press release.
City Partners with Juda Brown Project to Prevent Drowning
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4. Mayor Sylvester Turner is partnering with the Houston Health Department and Judah Brown Project to raise awareness about the risk of childhood drownings, educate parents and caregivers about reducing the risk, and link people to additional resources to help save lives.

The Judah Brown Project, named after the 3-year-old who drowned, partners with agencies that offer survival swim instruction, CPR certification, and other lifesaving education to families of children ages 1-4.
Watch the Public service announcement about child drowning. Information about free and low-cost swimming lessons, organizations that offer swim lesson scholarships and more water safety resources is available at HoustonHealth.org. Read the complete Judah Brown Project news release.
Mayor Invites Proposals for National Placemaking Grant
Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling for Houston’s best ideas for the national Our Town grant program.

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant is interested in projects that bring arts and culture to impact community priorities such as public safety, health, blight and vacancy, environment, job creation, equity, local business development, education, civic participation, and/or community cohesion. Successful projects will improve the livability of communities, create opportunities for all and empower residents. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

The National Endowment for the Arts limits the number of Our Town grant applicants per city and requires a letter of endorsement from the Mayor. Applications that respond to the City’s Resilience Plan and/or Complete Communities will be most competitive for an endorsement.
Aerial View of Project Row Houses during Round 41, curated by Ryan N Dennis. - Photo by Peter Molick
To be considered for endorsement, applicants should submit their concepts with confirmed artists and partners no later than July 22, 2021 to Cultural.Affairs@houstontx.gov. Successful applicants will receive the required endorsement letter to include with their final submission to the National Endowment for the Arts, due on August 5, 2021
Thinking about housing affordability? Take this Survey
Could the key to increasing housing options and affordability be in your backyard or in your neighborhood? The Livable Places Action Committee is exploring ways to allow a variety of housing types that fit all income levels.

Updating certain requirements and allowing homeowners to add additional units on a lot (unless prohibited by deed restrictions) could be a solution.
Share your thoughts with us by taking this survey by July 31 and sign up on LetsTalkHouston for future updates.
Share Your Stories About What Home Means To You
The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD) is looking for families and individuals who represent our community and are willing to share their stories about what home means to them.

Selected individuals and families will participate in a photoshoot and interview in their home. The professional photos will be theirs to keep at no cost, and their story will be shared as a part of HCDD’s campaign promoting the necessity and benefits of affordable home development in Houston. Please pass along this information to individuals and families who may be interested in participating. Register to volunteer.
What to Expect When You're Buying Your First Home
The Housing and Community Development Department is concluding the 360 Road to Homeownership Series on July 22 at 6 p.m. Register for the virtual event for information about process of buying your first home. The July 22 session will focus on the financial responsibilities that come with homeownership and help you make a plan for financial sustainability. Register for the event. For more information or if you have questions please contact us at LaTasha.Smith@houstontx.gov
The workshop will be live and give participants the opportunity to ask specific questions. If you are unable to attend, a recording will be uploaded to the website following the event.
Emergency Rental Assistance Helps Families Avoid Eviction

The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has reached a significant milestone by providing nearly $120 million in rental relief to thousands of individuals and families. The relief funds have helped residents avoid eviction during a time when the pandemic has created substantial economic and housing challenges.

Additional funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress earlier this year, is expected to be added to the ERAP in the coming months. Learn more on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program website.
Cooking Matters Classes Teach Nutrition, Grocery Tips

The Houston Food Bank offers virtual and in-person healthy eating and nutrition classes for families through its program called “Cooking Matters.”
This free three-week virtual and in-person class series educates participants on how to save money on groceries, and how to cook healthy quick recipes as a family. Groceries needed for class will be delivered to participants on a weekly basis. Enroll to receive special cooking incentives.

Classes are offered in English and Spanish. Complete the Nutrition Education Request Form.
Get Moving Houston Farmer’s Market Provides Healthy Food Options
The Get Moving Houston Farmers Market celebrates ten years of providing high quality fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices in areas of Houston designated as food deserts. Sponsored by the Houston Health Department, the program aims to alleviate food insecurity and lower rates of obesity and chronic diseases related to malnutrition, while strengthening communities and local economies.
Products can be purchased with cash, credit, WIC/VMNP Vouchers, Lone Star card (SNAP), Double Up Houston Food Bucks and Fresh RX. Food sold at the farmers market is produced by local farmers and sold at multiple Multi-Service Centers from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Specific dates and locations include:

Acres Home Multi-Service Center
6719 W. Montgomery
July 29, August 26, Sept 23

Magnolia Multi-Service Center
7037 Capitol St.
July 22, August 19, Sept 16 and 23

Southwest Multi-Service Center
6400 High Star
August 11 and 25, Sept 8 and 22

Sunnyside Multi-Service Center
9314 Cullen St
August 5, Sept 2

Visit gohealthyhouston.org or call 832-393-4054 for more information.
City Offers Signing Bonus to Fill 100 + Solid Waste Driver Jobs
Commercial driver’s license holders are needed to fill positions in the Solid Waste Management Department. Qualified applicants may receive up to $3,000 sign-on bonus for Sideloader Operator, Senior Sideloader Operator, and Senior Refuse Truck Driver positions. A Class A or Class B driver’s license and six months CDL driving experience is required.

The additional Solid Waste Drivers will help reduce the delays in pick-ups caused by the increases in new homes built and heavy items, such as furniture, appliances, and other bulky items collected during “Junk Waste Months”. Applicants can apply at governmentjobs.com.
Beat the Heat with Portable A/C, Cooling Centers
Partnering with Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, the Beat the Heat program will continue to offer portable air conditioners to qualifying individuals through a $70,000 donation from Reliant to the Houston Health Department’s Area Agency on Aging.
The City of Houston is encouraging older adults, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable residents who cannot cool their homes to call the Houston Health Department’s Area Agency on Aging at 832-393-4301 to apply for the program.
Cooling stations will open in the event of heat emergencies. Register for AlertHouston notifications to received information about cooling centers. Residents can also call 3-1-1 or visit Office of Emergency Management’s website for more information. Visit Reliant’s website for cooling centers and more safety tips.
HFD Offers Tips To Stay
Safe from Summer Heat
The Houston Fire Department (HFD) reminds the public to "Look Before you Lock” for children left in vehicles in addition to other safety measures to avoid heat-related medical emergencies.

HFD has responded to hundreds of calls regarding children under 8 years old left in cars. Parents are encouraged to remember children are more sensitive to heat and simple steps, such as a wallet in the back seat or a stuffed animal in the front seat, can serve as a reminder to remove children from the backseat when the destination is complete.
To prevent heat stroke, drink plenty of water and electrolytes-replacement beverages. Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, and other beverages with large amounts of sugar, especially before participating in strenuous exercise. Read more heat safety tips.
Acres Home
Acres Home Farmer's Market Moves to New Location
Fresh fruits and veggies and other locally produced food items are now available for purchase at the Bethune Empowerment Center. 
Support the Acres Homes Farmers Market at its new location from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every first and third Saturday at 2500 South Victory Drive. Hosted by the Acres Home Health Action Team, this family-oriented shopping environment serves as a platform for economic development while expanding access to fresh and healthy foods.
Interested vendors may apply to participate. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. 
Job Seekers and Employers Needed
For District F Career Fair
Come join District F for the Career Fair and bring a friend.

10 a.m.–2 p.m., August 14, 2021
Alief ISD Center for Advanced Careers
12160 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77082

Employers can contact Cherrelle.Duncan@houstontx.gov to register.

METRO to Improve Commutes for Gulfton Residents

In mid-August, METRO is scheduled to launch a Gulfton circulator to connect transit-dependent riders in the community with quicker trips around the neighborhood and to transit centers for expanded commutes. Circulators are buses that travels short-distance, circular, fixed-routes that takes riders around a specific area with major destinations. We will update the community as METRO prepares to debut the Gulfton Circulator.
Hillcroft Construction Progresses to Westward Street
Crews continue to work on Hillcroft to improve the comfort level and safe movement of all users by installing new sidewalks, safe crossings, and protected bikeways. The construction phase of the Hillcroft Safety Improvement Project is 20% complete, and work on Westward Street will begin in mid-July.
This project builds on Mayor Turner’s Complete Communities program, the Gulfton community has partnered with the City and others to design and implement Vision Zero-aligned improvements for Hillcroft Avenue, a road that presents safety and accessibility challenges.
Redesigning Hillcroft Avenue for the safe movement of all road users includes:
  • traffic calming, landscaping, and public spaces
  • improved bus stop placement and amenities   
  • protected bicycle lanes
  • widened 8-foot sidewalks           
  • improved lighting  
  • more shade trees          
  • a new traffic signal at Dashwood Drive               
  • safe crossings and plaza space at High Star Drive/Westward Street    
  • 10-foot shared-use path on Westward Street
Estimated completion is late summer 2021. Visit visionzerohouston.com for updates.
Gulfton Complete Communities Meeting:
Trees are Coming to Gulfton
At this meeting, Katherine Newton with Trees for Houston will discuss the project site location and tree type selection for our pilot tree planting project. As well as next steps needed to move forward. 
We will also have Nkemdilim Anyasinti with Prairie View A&M University. She will talk about their Healthy Houston Initiative and other programs tailored to positive youth development and community engagement.
Our next virtual meeting is 6 -7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21
Microsoft Teams meeting
ID: 188 680 752#
Kashmere Gardens
Is Your Roof in Need of Repair? 
If you are a kashmere Gardens resident and your roof is leaking or is in poor condition, Rebuilding Together Houston may be able to help. Rebuilding Together Houston’s free roof restoration program is available for qualified homeowners. Please see the program qualifications below.

  • Is a single-family homeowner in the City of Houston Complete Communities

  • Full time resident of the home

  • Current Homeowner listed on the home deed and property taxes

For more information on how to apply, visit rebuildinghouston.org/roof.
“A roof of a single-family home in ppor condition.” Twitter, Rebuilding Together Houston (@RebuildingHou) / Twitter
The Kashmere Multi-Service Center, located at 4802 Lockwood Drive, serves as a cooling center for individuals who need to escape the heat. The Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 pm. Monday through Friday.
Fort Bend Houston Super Neighborhood
Council Meeting
Meets every second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
The next meeting is Thursday, August 12, 2021
For meeting information contact:
Troy Carter, President
Preserve the Character of Your Neighborhood
Protect your neighborhood by applying for the Special Minimum Lot Size and
Special Minimum Building Line ordinances. You and your neighbors can prevent lots from being divided below a certain size and new buildings from being built closer to the street.
For more information, please contact Abraham Zorrilla at 832.393.6634 or at Abraham.Zorrilla@houstontx.gov
Proteja el carácter de su vecindario solicitando las ordenanzas de Tamaño Especial de Lote Mínimo y Línea Especial de Edificación Mínima. Usted y sus vecinos pueden evitar que los lotes se dividan por debajo de un cierto tamaño y que edificios nuevos se construyan más cerca de la calle.
Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Abraham Zorrilla al 832.393.6634 o por email Abraham.Zorrilla@houstontx.gov.
Near Northside
Public Comment Period Extended for New Homes
The Housing and Community Development Department has extended the public comment period on two sites in Near Northside subject to housing developments. The website information and online feedback tools at the Department’s Social Pinpoint site is open through July 21. The wrap-up meeting has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 29 at Wesley Community Center, located at 1410 Lee Street. You can also participate online via Microsoft Teams
Near Northside Drive-in Movie Night: Cruella July 23
Near Northside
Complete Communities and
Super Neighborhood #51 are launching a Free Summer
Drive-In/Walk-Up Movie Series.

Disney's: Cruella
Friday, July 23
7-9:30 p.m.
Northside High School
1101 Quitman St.

Help us decide future movies and locations: Complete this
Second Ward
Tree Planting by Trees for Houston
Trees for Houston is accepting requests from organizations who can commit to help beautify and maintain Houston’s green space.
Trees for Houston asks for all requests to be submitted at least 90 days prior to the project date. Once the request is submitted, it will be reviewed and evaluated in the order received. Large requests should be submitted as early in the project planning phase as possible.
If you would like consideration for tree planting, please fill out a Tree Request Form.
Second Ward Movie Night: Disney's Cruella on July 30
Second Ward Super Neighborhood and Second Ward Complete Communities invite you to a free drive-in and walk-up movie night complete with a food truck, fun, and give-away items. The event is Friday, July 30, at 8 p.m., at Talento Bilingue's parking lot, 333 S. Jensen Dr., 77003.  
Visit Second Ward Let's Talk Houston to comment and learn more about Complete Communities. Contact Abraham Zorrilla at 832-393-6634 or Abraham.Zorrilla@houstontx.gov for questions about the movie night. 
Sunnyside Stop Illegal Dumping Campaign
Young Community & Culture Group LLC was awarded a LISC GO Neighborhoods grant to lead an illegal dumping campaign and cleanup in the Sunnyside area. We need the community to help organize and implement this goal. To sign up to volunteer in any capacity please visit: www.sunnysidehtx.org/illegal-dumping
Third Ward residents: Attend this Progress Report Meeting to get updates on completed ongoing and future projects in your community. Make connections and plant the seeds for future projects that can impact jobs, education, housing, health, safety, mobility and infrastructure, parks and more.

6:30 p.m. Thursday July 22
Microsoft Teams meeting https://bit.ly/3ABnGRO 
Third Ward's Polk Street Bike Lane Welcomes New Riders
The Polk Street bike lane is complete and ready to roll. The new bicycle facility replaced existing low-comfort bike lanes with a high-comfort bikeway and included repairs to sidewalks and curb ramps from Emancipation Avenue to Cullen Boulevard.
Low-comfort lanes are separated from vehicles with just a white stripe and are often narrow. High-comfort lanes are wider and are often protected with a barrier to prevent car traffic intrusion.
The Polk Street lane also features floating bus stops, which are dedicated platforms for passengers entering and exiting buses while the bike lane runs behind. The project is part of the Third Ward Bikeway Network and funded by Harris County Precinct One. 
The Columbia Tap Trail Project is Complete
The Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and Houston Parks Board recently completed a signage project along the Columbia Tap Trail within Third Ward. New street signs and replacement stop signs were installed along the trail at street crossings between Blodgett Street and the Gulf Freeway Feeder Road.

The street and stop signs are a continuation of the signage found along the portion of the Columbia Tap Trail within the Second Ward, which provide safety measures for trail users. Funding for the signage comes from a grant Houston Parks Board received from Houston Endowment. 
The Citadel Offers New Affordable Senior Housing
Houston City Council unanimously approved a $10.25 million loan towards new construction of an independent living senior community located at 3345 Elgin Street, 77004. During Hurricane Harvey, many buildings throughout Houston were damaged, leaving residents, including seniors, without secure and affordable homes. Using Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery funds, nonprofit developers, NHP Foundation and Change Happens Community Development Corporation will construct replacement apartments in an area at lower risk of flooding to ensure the safety of residents for the future.

The new complex, called The Citadel, will offer 74 studio and one-bedroom apartment units. Each unit will be made affordable for forty years, and net rents will range from $343 - $963 per month, depending on unit size and the household’s income. With its location in the Third Ward, the development adds to the revitalization of an historic area and will provide seniors with access to key resources and services.
Cuney Homes Receives $450,000 HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant Award 
The $450,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant will enable the Houston Housing Authority, the City of Houston, the Third Ward community, and their partners to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan. This plan will build on these established relationships, many of which emerged through the Third Ward Complete Communities planning process in 2018. The plan seeks to safely and successfully engage residents and local stakeholders. The goal is to organize actions around local anchor institutions, service providers, governmental entities, businesses, and residents. With a key focus on social justice and improved health outcomes, the broad enthusiasm and support for this effort will result in a successful blueprint for the Houston Third Ward’s transformation.
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