Houston Complete Communities


Complete Communities Updates
News from your City of Houston
Planning & Development Department
City of Houston April 2018
Transition: From Planning to Action Teams

The Planning & Development Department is pleased to announce that the months of planning for Complete Communities Action Plans is now moving into implementation of action items, facilitated by action teams from each Complete Community! Concepts for "Neighborhood Tool Boxes" are being explored, and you may begin to see many city departments and partner organizations refer to Complete Communities for the various programs that evolve.


Because of the diversity of each of the five pilot communities, you may also notice that each community may have different priorities and objectives. Drafts of the action plans will be reviewed and edited with the goal of presenting final action plans to City Council in May for adoption. 

Community Highlights

Acres Home
Action: The action teams ("A-Teams") were created in the spring around the nine Action Plan topics: Infrastructure, Housing, Civic Engagement, Education, Economy and Workforce, Health, Parks and Community Amenities and Safety. The action teams will work together to help implement the projects from the plan in collaboration with the City of Houston and/or outside partners.
Facebook Community Relations: A community boost training was offered by Facebook on Friday, April 6, in which the most up-to-date tools, insights and best practices for growing a facebook presence were explored. Community partners included the City of Houston - Office of Business Opportunity. For more information, visit the Community Boost website .
Visit My Neighborhood Art Project Grants: The Acres Home Multi-Service Center Community Advisory Committee (AHMSCCAC) has received the Visit My Neighborhood Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance to identify organizations and creative individuals who will enhance artistic experiences and education for residents and visitors in Acres Homes. The AHMSCCAC is accepting applications for artistic projects beginning May 1, 2018. Funding can range from up to $5,000 for short-term activities to several thousands for larger projects. If you are interested in funding an art project in Acres Home, request a grant application by email at acreshomesvmn@gmail.com  beginning May 1, 2018. The deadline for all grant submissions is June 1, 2018. Contact Catherine D. Dorsey at 832-731-6208 or  cddorsey@sbcglobal.net  for more information.
Next Steps: Ultimately, the Action Team (A-Team) partnership is the key to the success of the Complete Communities Action Plan for Acres Home. If you are interested in joining the Acres Home action team, please sign up .
Contact Information: The lead planners for Acres Home are Christa Stoneham and Arica Bailey. You can reach them at CC_AcresHome@houstontx.gov.

Action: Gulfton's last Complete Communities public meeting was held on March 20, at the Southwest Multi-Service Center. The draft Action Plan identifying projects, timelines, potential partners and programs was presented. Community stakeholders also provided recommendations for other potential partners and programs to assist with project implementation.

Working group committees were also established for nine topics: Neighborhood Character, Mobility and Infrastructure, Housing, Civic Engagement, Education, Economy and Jobs, Health, Parks and Community Amenities and Safety. These groups will work together to help implement the projects from the Action Plan in collaboration with the City of Houston, agencies and organizations. 
If you are interested in joining a working group committee, please sign up with the lead Planners. See the program page for updates about the next meeting and steps at the Complete Communities website
Gulfton's last Complete Communities meeting was well attended on March 20.
March on Crime Prayer Walk and Public Safety Fair: The March 13 event was organized by the Police and Clergy Team (PACT), Police and Clergy Alliance (PACA), the Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and Houston Police Department (HPD.) Information and resources were provided throughout the Gulfton area during this time.
 Next Steps: Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council Meeting: Every 3rd Monday of the month, Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr., 77074, Noon - 1 pm.
Positive Interaction Program's (PIP) Meeting: Tuesday, April 17, Southwest Multi-Service Center
6400 High Star Dr., 77074, Noon - 1 pm.

Contact Information: The lead planners for Gulfton are Tonya Sawyer and Abraham Zorilla. You can reach them at CC_Gulfton@houstontx.gov
Near Northside


Building Lead Free: Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be participating in a community event April 21 to highlight the work of Houston Health Department's work in the Near Northside to abate lead. The family-friendly event will be hosted at the Holy Name Catholic Church, 1920 Marion St., 77009, 10 am - 1 pm, and is free to attend. There will be a health and wellness fair, fun activities for kids, and an appearance by Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Contact Information: The lead planners for Near Northside are Diana Ducroz and Davonte Caldwell. You can reach them at CC_NearNorthside@houstontx.gov


Second Ward
ENCOUNTER: Meeting Points on Buffalo Bayou:  Self-guided tours of six Buffalo East Sector installations by students from the University of Houston Graphic Design Program were held on April 7, 2018. These interactive installations express ideas about the bayou's relation to the East End and Fifth Ward communities. Enjoy entertainment and food trucks at the North York Boat Launch with beer generously provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Participate in activities at each site and share your ideas related to Buffalo Bayou Partnership's future plans along the bayou's East Sector. For more information visit the Buffalo Bayou Partnership site.
Dia De Los Ninos April 28th, 2018: The Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans' (AAMA) 11th Annual Día de los Niños, presented in partnership with Eastwood Park, will feature music, games, prizes, and food in a tobacco- and drug-free environment for youth and families. This event celebrates the children in our community with the aim of diverting them away from harmful behaviors towards more positive opportunities. Through our Prevention and Counseling Services, AAMA is one of the largest providers of alcohol and substance use prevention and treatment in Texas. Our programs help youth and adults break the cycle of addiction and change the trajectory of their lives. Día de los Niños is more than just a day - it's the culmination effort to educate more than 2,000 families about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and gang involvement. For more information please see the website.
Contact Information: The lead planners for Second Ward are Misty Staunton and David Welch. You can reach them at CC_SecondWard@houstontx.gov 
Third Ward
The Neighborhood Support Team (NST) merged with the Greater Third Ward Super Neighborhood #67. The combined membership formed work groups by the nine topic areas highlighted in the Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan: Civic Engagement, Economy and Jobs, Education, Health, Housing, Mobility and Infrastructure, Neighborhood Character, Parks and Community Amenities, and Safety. Each work group will report back at the next SN meeting - Thursday, April 19, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center.  The SN regularly meets every third Thursday at the same time and location.

The Third Ward Neighborhood Support Team in action. 

Walkable Places: Third Ward is one of three pilot areas to participate in Walkable Places. Planning Commission is considering changes to Chapter 26 and 42 of the Code of Ordinances designed to create more vibrant, walkable streets that support alternative modes of transportation. The Walkable Places Committee will explore how these ordinances should be amended to achieve this objective. Public meetings will be held in Third Ward so that citizens can participate in the process and discussion. An initial introduction to the upcoming meetings and process will be discussed at the April 19 SN meeting. (See above for meeting details.)
Riverside General Hospital: Riverside General Hospital, located at 3204 Ennis Street, originally opened to serve black patients in 1927 in Third Ward. Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously voted in March to buy the property and rehab it as a mental health facility. It was reported that the Houston Endowment Inc. will help finance the purchase.

Contact Information: The lead planners for Third Ward are Lynn Henson and Annette Mitchell. You can reach them at CC_ThirdWard@houstontx.gov.


All Complete Communities  
Mayor Turner Teams Up With Nextdoor.com: Mayor Sylvester Turner recently started using Nextdoor (nextdoor.com), the private social network for neighborhoods, to better connect with residents and communities. Through Nextdoor, Mayor Turner can work with Nextdoor neighborhoods on important issues that affect their community, as well as share critical information before, during, and after a storm such as Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Police Department, Houston Office of Emergency Management, Houston Fire Department, Harris County Sheriff's Office and Ready Harris already have a partnership with Nextdoor, making it one of the most comprehensive partnerships in the country. The Planning & Development Department is in the process of joining Nextdoor under the City of Houston's account to connect to more neighborhoods to share information with you on Complete Communities and other department projects.
Introducing Nextdoor
Introducing Nextdoor
What we need from you: We need your neighborhood to create an account with Nextdoor so that you can receive City of Houston updates. If your neighborhood already has an account, we encourage you and your neighbors to join Nextdoor. For more information on the Mayor's partnership with Nextdoor and how it works, please read the Mayor's Office press release from December 2017.
Free Preparation of Wills: Another Will-A-Thon is being scheduled for June! A session was held April 4 and another session, to take place May 2, is already full. The clinics are staffed by volunteer attorneys who prepare simple wills for pre-approved participants. Houstonians eligible for these services are low-income seniors age 60 and older, persons with disabilities, and military veterans. Persons interested in receiving these services must complete a screening interview by phone at 713-228-0735. 
Incremental Development Alliance Workshop: One-day workshops on small scale real estate development are all about project formation. The workshop offers a big picture view of neighborhood-based development to help attendees analyze what makes a good project, how a building makes money, and how small developers interact with the broader ecosystem of professionals in the built environment. By the end of the workshop, aspiring developers will feel more prepared to take the first steps on their own project. Visit their website for more information.
Citizens' Police Academy (CPA): The Houston CPA provides citizens with sound and accurate
   information about the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the criminal justice process so citizens can make informed decisions regarding safety and crime. Each week, a different discipline or area of HPD is presented such as: Houston Emergency Center (police dispatch), Pursuit Driving, SWAT Detail, Shoot-Don't Shoot training exercises, Firearms Training, Mounted Patrol Division, and Helicopter Division. Citizens also participate in the department's Ride-Along program, which allows citizens the opportunity to ride in a police car with a patrol officer. This program is not an application to become a police officer. Instead, the free Citizen's Police Academy is held twice a year and involves a 33-hour block of instruction, consisting of a weekly class, usually 6 - 9 pm, for 11 weeks. The next fall session takes place September through November. For details, visit the Volunteer Initiatives website.
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Complete Communities
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designed to improve Houston neighborhoods