Houston Complete Communities


Complete Communities Updates
News from your City of Houston
Planning & Development Department
City of HoustonJuly 2018
Storytelling and Action!

Mayor Sylvester Turner recently announced grants to creatively show and tell the stories and attributes of the five Complete Communities.
"Like every community in Houston, Complete Communities are packed with cultural assets and stories," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "Uplifting and supporting these communities, with storytellers unique to each, builds on a creative environment for visitors and Houstonians to share." 

 Storyteller grant recipients pictured above, left to right:
Ana De Leon, Jose Monterrosa, Marc Newsome, Ulavia Dilworth, Javier Fernandez and Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Director Debbie McNulty

The Storytellers will work to illuminate the arts and culture in their communities using media -- film, photography and creative writing -- to translate the communities' creative work into narratives that can be used for marketing and neighborhood enrichment. Houston Arts Alliance and the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs have made these grants possible. For more information, please see the Mayor's press release here.
Action Plans Release

The draft Action Plans have finished the public comment period and will be posted online by the end of July. All five are being prepared to send to City Council soon. Stay tuned! To be notified of the council date so that you can show your support, sign up for email notifications. The final versions can be reviewed via the P&D's website.
Community Highlights

Acres Home
The BIG 3 press release: On June 20, 2018, a partnership was announced with Adidas, City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department, and the BIG 3 organization to revitalize Carver (Winzer) Park with a $25k donation.
Community Clean Up: Partnerships with the Toshia Hurd Foundation, Community of Faith Church, and the City of Houston held a successful clean-up. Over 150 volunteers took to the parks and abandoned areas within the community and surrounding area to pick up trash and debris. Water donations were generously made by local community store Joe V's. 

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math: Lone Star Victory Center hosted STEM camp, and sponsored 27 students June 25-28. Students were offered the opportunity to learn gaming design and rocket science where they actually launched rockets.
Home Builders Institute:
The Acres Home program ribbon cutting held on Thursday, June 28, 2018, kicked off a free 12-week training program. Fourteen young men and women enrolled in a 12-week carpentry skills training session needed to obtain jobs in the construction industry.
Burghli Homes Ribbon Cutting: On Monday, June 25, 2018, Mayor Turner and the Housing and Community Development Department unveiled The Cottages of Sunny Hill (above), a community designed to address the affordable housing need in Acres Home.
Acres Home Leadership Training Registration for Youth and Young Adults: The Y-ABC focus groups project is a free program designed to empower young people between 18 - 30 years of age through training and experiential learning to become a voice for positive changes in the Acres Home community. For more information, please contact Francisco.garcia@houstontx.gov.
Appraisals: The Community Union CDC hosted an event with Harris County Appraisal District on June 23rd, to provide information to help the community understand property tax exemptions and protesting property values. Stay tuned for more meeting dates as this will be a monthly series. 

Contact Information: The lead planners for Acres Home are Christa Stoneham and Arica Bailey. You can reach them at CC_AcresHome@houstontx.gov.

Summer Revitalization: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Youth Gathering visited Houston this summer to contribute to the revitalization and support of communities in Mayor Turner's Complete Communities areas during their youth conference.  Over 30,000 young volunteers were in Houston to participate in service projects.  Benefitting agencies included the Southwest Multi-Service Center, where volunteers worked in the community garden and painted curbs. At the Alliance for Multicultural Community Services, volunteers assisted by cleaning the facility.  BakerRipley hosted a book fair, and the volunteers helped organize and work the event. The young volunteers also assisted with a community garden clean-up project at Burnett Bayland Park.

Gulfton Neighborhood Support Team (NST) Meeting: Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 6:00 pm -7:30 pm, at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr. Houston, TX 77074.
Super Neighborhood Monthly Meeting: Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council monthly meeting is every 3rd Monday of the month, at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr., 77074, from 12 - 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
Food Fair and Health Screening: Every third Tuesday of the month, quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables are available for distribution at the Leonel Castillo Center for anyone who needs food assistance. Also, blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI screenings are conducted by Legacy Community Health. The Leonel Castillo Center is located at 2101 South St, Houston, TX 77009.

New Food Distribution Site: Greater Grace Trinity Baptist Church is a new food distribution sight for the Houston Food Bank. On the third Wednesday of each month, food supplies are given out on the campus of the church, which is located at 4906 Elysian St, Houston, TX 77009.

Mobility Workshop: The Near Northside Mobility Workshop took place on June 20 at Moody Park Community Center. After an informative presentation on mobility options, attendees reviewed the proposed bicycle routes and gave their feedback on the design options. There is a funding opportunity to implement these routes through Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who has partnered with the City to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. The Commissioner has pledged $10 million from Precinct One funds to build routes around the city over the next few months. For additional information, please contact Lauren Grove at lauren.grove@houstontx.gov or 832-393-6550.
 Council Member Karla Cisneros and volunteers at Castillo Park.

Castillo Park Area Clean Up Day: A youth group from Dublin, Ohio came to Houston to volunteer their time and energy to beautify our communities, including the Near Northside community. Partnering with Keep Houston Beautiful, Avenue CDC was able to engage a group of about 20 volunteers to beautify and clean up Castillo Park and its surrounding areas, including Marshal Middle School and the Carnegie Library. Volunteers also painted Marshall Middle School's cafeteria steps and poles in front of the park with the school's colors, blue and yellow.
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

Action Plan: The Spanish translation of the Second Ward Action Plan is almost complete. It will be posted soon at http://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/secondward/.

Work Groups: The first round of Complete Communities work group meetings in Second Ward will be held in the coming weeks. The purpose of the work groups is for community members to participate in the implementation process of the Second Ward Action Plan. Each work group will be focused on one of the eight topics in the action plan, which include: Economy and Jobs, Education, Health, Housing, Mobility and Infrastructure, Neighborhood Character, Parks and Community Amenities, and Safety. If you are interested in participating in one of the work groups, please email the Second Ward planning team at CC_SecondWard@houstontx.gov.

Buffalo Bayou Trail Extension: The Texas Department of Transportation recently broke ground on a new trail extension that will connect Second Ward to downtown through the Houston Housing Authority's Clayton Homes property. The $3.7 million project also includes a pedestrian bridge that will link the north and south banks of Buffalo Bayou. A federal grant and $500,000 in private funds raised by BBP are making the project possible. Expect a ribbon cutting in early 2019.

Visit My Neighborhood Storyteller Grant: Jose Monterrosa has been awarded the "Visit My Neighborhood Storyteller" grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. He will work to illuminate the arts and culture in Second Ward using media -- film, photography and creative writing -- to translate the communities' creative work into narratives that can be used for marketing and neighborhood enrichment.

Bike Parking Community Audit: The Houston Health Department is organizing a Bike Parking Audit in Second Ward on Tuesday, July 24, from 9:30 am -11:30 am. This is a great opportunity to help advocate for better bike amenities in Second Ward. If you are interested in volunteering please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/houston-health-department-bike-rack-parking-workshop-tickets-47552348354.

Back to School and Health Fair Events: Let's make sure our students in Second Ward have the resources they need for the upcoming school year. Please share information about two back to school events happening in the community:
  • BakerRipley is having a Back to School Health Fair on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 8 am at Ripley House, 4410 Navigation Boulevard. School supplies, health screening, food distribution, and nutrition workshops will be available at this event.
  • The Morales Memorial Foundation is holding a Back-to-School Giveaway and Health Fair on Saturday, August 18, 2018, from 8 am - 10 am at 2901 Canal Street. School supplies, immunizations, sports physical, and dental screenings will be available at this event.
Safe Streets Canal Street Project Update: The Safe Streets project on Canal Street near David G. Burnet Elementary School and Ninfa Laurenzo Early Childhood Education Center aims to improve safety. The P&D staff is working closely with area residents in Second Ward on safety concerns on this project.

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

Youth Community Service Projects: During the week of June 26 through July 1, 2018 over 30,000 youth from all over the country were in town for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America youth gathering. Some of those youth took part in community service projects throughout the Third Ward Complete Communities area under the leadership of the Faith in Action Workgroup of the Emancipation Economic Development Council.

The young people could be seen working in parks, cultivating the Blodgett Street Community garden, assisting with a pop-up bike lane or various other activities to show support to the Third Ward area.


Walkable Places: Monitor the progress of a pilot program in Third Ward! Visit the Walkable Places website for more information.

Safety & Security Workgroup Looking for Co-Chairs: Safety and Security is looking for co-chairs to join the Workgroup. Come July 17, 2018, 5:45pm - 6:50pm at 2202 St. Emmanuel St - HPD South Central Substation. Or, Dial-In Number- (605) 472-5667 Access Code: 630365.

To access materials for any of the workgroups including agendas, minutes and more:
*  Education
*  Health
*  Housing
*  Safety

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

Financially secure families strengthen neighborhoods and the City: 
Bank On Houston promotes healthy financial habits through education and collaboration via safe and affordable financial products, services, financial knowledge and coaching. Financial institutions around the country are working with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund on a national level, and with their local Bank On Coalition, to help bring the unbanked and the under-banked into the financial mainstream to begin building assets.  As an initiative of the City Controller's Office, Bank On Houston is working to give families access to safe and affordable financial products and services.  See  bankonhouston.org for details.

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