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October 2021 Newsletter

Join Your Neighbors for National Night Out
On Tuesday, October 5, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., thousands of people throughout the city will step out of their homes to meet their neighbors and renew their commitment to public safety for National Night Out.

"As Mayor of this city, I encourage each of you to participate in National Night Out. As you meet your neighbors, you will build a friendship and a connection that can lead to unifying neighborhoods, streets, subdivisions, and communities against crime. Together with law enforcement, your neighbors can become your allies against crime, and together we will improve the quality of life in our city."
For more information and planning ideas, please contact Officer J. Robles of the Houston Police Department’s Office of Community Affairs at
MD Anderson Launches Community-led
Be Well™ Acres Homes initiative 
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in collaboration with community members and 30 other organizations, united to launch Be Well™ Acres Homes in September.
Be Well Acres Homes aims to mobilize the community to promote health and wellness. Building on a roadmap for community investment developed by the community residents themselves—through the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities—Be Well Acres Homes and affiliated groups will implement evidence-based interventions focused on active living and healthy eating. A steering committee will guide these projects to ensure resident feedback and long-term sustainability are built into all aspects of the work.

Be Well Acres Homes' initial activities include:
  • expanding exercise and healthy eating programs for all ages
  • building community and school-based gardens
  • increasing access to fresh, healthy food
  • improving parks, trails and places for physical activity
The Be Well Acres Homes action plan was developed with and for the community, in alignment with the Houston Complete Communities initiative.
“The vitality of our city and the health of our community are everyone’s responsibilities, especially in neighborhoods where opportunity is not equal. MD Anderson’s demonstrated commitment to lead in a highly collaborative, community-minded way is a model for our city. We are thrilled for this social impact initiative with MD Anderson and look forward to advancing this effort in Acres Homes.”
- Mayor Sylvester Turner
Mayor: City of Houston is Safer Four Years after Harvey
We recently marked the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. Mayor Turner gave an update on completion of Harvey-related recovery projects. Read the breakdown of projects and watch the video.
Local Community Engagement Captures State-wide Interest
Designing for Impact, the local collaborative event held last spring, has garnered attention from the Texas Society of Architects. Two City of Houston employees, Mayor's Office of Complete Communities Division Manager Christa Stoneham and Planner III Lindsey Williams, have been invited to present, "A Case Study on Community-Engaged Design," at the society's annual conference in October.
Through a joint effort of the City of Houston and the National Organization of Minority Architects - Houston and the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects, designers, architects, students, community stakeholders, and citizens worked together to generate project ideas for historically underserved neighborhoods. Working closely with residents through a community-engaged design process, volunteer teams generated executable visions for these communities. Both participants and observers were able to see first-hand 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. We're very proud of Christa and Lindsey for all their hard work in developing this case study.
Improve Your Financial Security, Manage Student Loans
The Biden Administration has extended the federal student loan moratorium to January 31, 2022. During this moratorium, federal student loans will remain interest-free and there will be no penalties for nonpayment.

Get connected with an HFEC financial counselor today to find out how they can help you manage student loans and improve your financial security. Make a FREE appointment.
Neighborhood Matching Grants Support Improvement and Beautification Projects
The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and the Houston City Council offices have opened the 2022 Neighborhood Matching Grant program. This funding opportunity provides dollar-for-dollar matching grant reimbursements ranging from $500-$5,000 for projects that are accessible and beneficial to the community. The deadline to submit is Friday, Nov. 5.
Proposed projects must create physical improvement to the neighborhoods, involve neighborhood residents, have long standing benefits, and be accessible to the public. Grant funds cannot be used for lobbying or participating in political campaigns or elections, projects that have already been completed, on-going operations, or maintenance such as upkeep of landscaping or a community garden.
For the program guidelines and application form, go to www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods
 A Month of Service Continues Free Online Workshops
Join the Department of Neighborhoods for a monthly series of free online workshops conducted by volunteer lawyers and experts.
Workshop topics include: Eviction Rights, Inheriting Property, Clearing Title and Probate Concerns, Holographic Wills, Foreclosure Prevention, For Sale by Owner, Immigration Concerns, and First Time Homebuyers.
To register, visit the Neighborhood Recovery website. Registrants without an internet connection can participate in the workshops by phone.  
Houston Health Department Provides Incentives
for COVID-19 Vaccinations
There’s no better time to receive a COVID-19 vaccination! Starting on August 26, the Houston Health Department will provide up to $100 gift card for residents that receive the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. First dose gift cards are running out.
Residents will also receive a $50 gift card for the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. To qualify for the second dose incentive, people must have received their first dose on or after August 2 and receive both vaccine doses within 42 days.
All vaccines must be received at eligible Houston Health Department sites. Residents who receive their first dose at PlazAmericas or Tidwell Park must get their second dose at the same site
within 42 days to receive the second dose incentive. These two sites will not provide second dose incentives for people who received their first dose at other sites.

Walk-ins are welcome. Call 832-393-4220 to schedule an appointment.
Acres Home
Acres Home Gardening with Planting Classes
at the Acres Homes Farmers Market
Learn how to get your garden started in time for fall planting with classes with the founder of Ivy Leaf Farms, Ivy Walls.
No matter if you are new to gardening or consider yourself a pro, there will be helpful information for all. Shop for fresh produce and locally sourced goods at the Acres Homes Farmers Market while you wait for classes to start.
Gardening classes are available at two time slots: 10 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct.16. These classes will be located at the Bethune Empowerment Center at 2500 S. Victory Dr. Basic start up materials will be provided. Space is limited, so register now.
Near Northwest Management District Hosts
National Night Out 2021 
Bring your family and friends to National Night Out in Acres Home at 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5 at White Oak Bayou Village located at 6640 Antoine Drive.
This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will enjoy rock climbing, a petting zoo, food sampling, door prizes, and other activities. Contact rrosales@nnmd.org or visit our events page for additional details.

Reserve a booth to promote services and products. Organizations are asked to bring a canopy, a table, and host a game or activity. Contact grownear1@nnmd.org or call 713.895.8021 for more information.
Join the StepHEALTHY Walking Club in Acres Home
Memorial Hermann (MH) Acres Home StepHEALTHY Walking Club meets regularly for outdoor, socially distanced walks guided by the MH Walking Team and Felicia Light, Community Walking Leader (masks are required).

Location: Highland/Desoto Park
3316 De Soto St., Houston, TX
Register on-site at the Basketball Court

Days: Monday-Friday

Time: 7 a.m.– 8 a.m. or 8 a.m.– 9 a.m.
(Arrive at any time during the walk hours, every step counts)
Youth Conference Spotlights Environmental Justice
Students are invited to join elected officials, community leaders, professors, and scientific experts in candid discussions about food deserts, water contamination, flooding, air pollution and community upkeep.
The District F Youth Conference will emphasize the importance of environmental justice by providing resources and tangible actionable items.
Attend the pre-conference session at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 at the Tracy Gee Community Center to meet fellow youths and pick-up free swag bags. The virtual conference starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 16. All sessions are free. Register to join this virtual conference. Please email districtf@houstontx.gov or call 832-393-3002 for questions. 
CHAT Creates an Art Book to Spotlight the Work
of Local Artist in the Gulfton Community
To raise awareness about the experiences of the immigrant and refugee community, the Culture of Health-Advancing Together (CHAT) created a book to spotlight the work of neighborhood artists. The book, titled “Reflections from Refuge,” is a compilation of some of the vibrant and diverse art that the artists have created recently. The artwork in the book will cover a collection of paintings created by CHAT Academy students. Each piece was inspired by their love for the land they left behind, their new home here in the U.S., and their own unique view of the experience.
The book is expected to be completed later this summer. We're accepting donations on the donorview website.
Hillcroft Safety Improvement Project Update
Infrastructure improvements are still underway in Gufton on High Star Drive from Hillcroft Ave. to Rookin Street. Phase 1 of construction began in September and is ending in early October. During this time, the sidewalk on north High Star will be improved and parking will be removed.
Phase 2 of this project will begin in early October and end in early November. Improvements during this phase include installing a bikeway on the north side of High Star and shifting the travel lane to the south side. Parking on the south side of High Star will also be removed.
Building on Mayor Turner’s Complete Communities program, the Gulfton community has partnered with the City and others to make safety and accessibility improvements to Hillcroft. Visit the Planning and Development website to learn more about Vision Zero and Complete Communities aligned projects.
Kashmere Gardens
"Lily Pads" Bring Emergency Resources
In partnership with the Northeast Houston Redevelopment Council and Resilient Cities Catalyst, the City of Houston is working to implement a community resilience hub, also called a Lily Pad, in Kashmere Gardens. 

A Lily Pad is a physical space for Kashmere Gardens residents to gather and obtain necessary services and can serve as a resource connector during emergencies, and respond directly to shocks and stresses, including extreme heat, intense flooding, and power outages.
While the Lily Pad may be located in Kashmere Gardens, it intends to serve residents living in Kashmere Gardens, Fifth Ward, Trinity Houston Gardens, Denver Harbor and surrounding areas.
Please provide input on what a Lily Pad in Kashmere Gardens could look like and what services would be useful. Complete the Kashmere Gardens Community Input Survey. This survey should take no longer than ten minutes to complete and is available in both English and Spanish. 
Get Fresh Quality Produce, Meat, and More at Northeast Community Farmer’s Market
Fresh produce and other food items are available for sale at the Northeast Community Farmers Market on Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon (recurs every third Saturday of each month). The market resides at the LBJ Community Farm, located at 5425 Troost Street. Due to the farm’s covid safety protocol, they asked that social distancing be observed and that you remain in your vehicle as you shop at the market.
Take advantage of the DOUBLE UP HOUSTON PROGRAM. Use your Lonestar/EBT Card and they will double your SNAP dollars, $1 for $1 on fruits and vegetables, up to $40 a day. When you spend $1 of SNAP/EBT, get $1 of fresh produce for free. 
Affordable Living Available in Fort Bend Houston
Recently, Fort Bend Houston celebrated the grand opening of Edison Lofts, a 126 unit mixed-income affordable apartment complex. The project was funded by the city of Houston’s Harvey Multifamily Program. Nearly 90% of the one, two, or three-bedroom apartments will be designated for low-and-moderate income households.

This is a long-term investment to improve the lives of Fort Bend Houston residents by providing safe, quality housing. The development has an on-site Pre-K Early Learning Center,
access to public transportation, grocery stores, health centers, public parks, outdoor recreation areas, and other nearby amenities to help lift up the community.

Edison Lofts is the first phase of a bold, transformative high-impact revitalization plan for the former Kroger shopping center by the Edison Arts Foundation. To learn more about Edison Lofts, please visit their website. Learn more about housing programs and resources at the City website.
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
Love Our Parks Fest Comes to Woodruff Park
The Mayor’s Love Our Parks FEST at Woodruff Park is scheduled for Saturday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Woodruff Park is located at 8800 Woodruff, 77012. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Parks and Recreation Director Kenneth Allen will attend.  
Near Northside
Better Block Project Paints Living Charrettes on the Underused Fulton Corridor
The Fulton Corridor is becoming a bit brighter one mural at a time. Through the Better Block Project, underused streets are being transformed into vibrant neighborhood centers that serve as examples of what “complete streets” can look like. This revitalization effort will help increase economic activity in the area and provide a temporary town square that organizers hope will have a lasting positive impact on the community.
The Greater Northside Management District partnered with local Industrial Designer and UH grad, Mariana Keymolen, to design a full building mural. The mural will be created at the former Church’s Chicken, located at Fulton and Hammock Streets. The winning design was chosen by the Near Northside community. The project was funded with a generous contribution from Diedre Thomas, a neighborhood resident and patron of the arts.
Sunnyside Community Clean Up
Join Sunnyside in this resident led effort by Young Community & Culture group, and other community partners for the Sunnyside Community Clean-Up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday Oct 9 at Cloverland Park located on 11800 Scott Street. Register to participate.   
Sunnyside HTX is also looking for Sunnyside residents and supporters with common goals and diverse backgrounds to create a Sunnyside taskforce that develops ideas and to organize problem solving efforts. To be a part of this taskforce, sign-up at www.Sunnysidehtx.org.   
Sunnyside National Night Out
Bring a lawn chair and a covered dish to enjoy National Night Out in Sunnyside!
Labeled as Houston’s greatest night out against crime, the Honorary Mayor of Sunnyside, Sandra Massie Hines, Houston/Harris County and Metropolitan Law Enforcement Agencies, and St Francis Xavier Catholic Church will host this event. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church Parking lot at 4600 Reed Rd.
Special guests and groups will include JABO The Texas Prince of Zydeco, Blues Phoenix Rising Records, Jones 1 and Associates, Houston Media Source TV, and Radio Bipeatz, DaNumber 1Spot TV. 
Project Row Houses Financial Opportunity Center Continues to Serve the Public 
Financial, career, behavioral, and creative coaching is available at Project Row Houses (PRH). Walk-ins are accepted at the Financial Opportunity Center Program from 9 a.m. to noon each Friday at 2519 Holman Street.
The Virtual Financial Literacy Series, is offered at 1 p.m. each Wednesday. Learn how to save on Oct. 13, how to use credit cards responsibly on Nov. 17, and how to budget on December 15. To attend these virtual information sessions, contact Anjeanette at 832-930-1982 or foc@projectrowhouses.org.
Lauren Hickland, PRH’s Behavioral Health Case Manager, teaches participants how the deal with burnout, overcome grief and loss, build conflict resolution skills, and identify development during virtual classes scheduled on October 27, November 17, and December 15. Email lhickland@projectrowhouses.org to RSVP. 
Learn How to Find Fresh Food Affordably
Join the Emancipation Economic Development Council (EEDC) for a Get Fresh In The Tre Information Session at noon every Tuesday or Friday at either 2501 Holman Street. These meetings are also available virtually on Zoom. These sessions educate participants on how to eat healthy, save money on groceries, and get fresh produce weekly. To participate, email info@emancipationhouston.org
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