January 20, 2021
SERVING NEIGHBORHOODS BULLETIN
2020 - THE MAYOR'S YEAR IN REVIEW
To view the video, click on link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O63Y1HDLKWk&feature=youtu.be
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS SERVICES
The Department of Neighborhoods is partnering with several law schools and volunteer lawyer associations to offer a monthly series of free online sessions addressing topics of urgent interest during the pandemic.
The topics include Eviction and Tenant Rights, Workers’ Rights, Child Custody and Divorce, Consumer Concerns & Bankruptcy, Wills & Estate Planning, Inherited Property, Foreclosure Prevention and Property Tax Protest Hearings. The series also include First-time Homebuyer Education Classes.
To register, go to www.nrcdc.org/site/getregistered and click on the date/session of interest. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can register by phone at 346-339-1088. You will be able to participate in the sessions by phone. The sessions are recorded and links to the recorded sessions are posted online at www.facebook.com/nrcdc.houston.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATES -- Stay Informed by phone!
Subscribe to Neighborhood Updatesto stay informed about COVID-19 recovery resources and essential city services via phone voice or text messages in English of Spanish.We especially invite seniors and others who may not have easy access to the internet, persons with disabilities who require communications by voice or text, and residents who prefer information in Spanish. To subscribe to Neighborhood Updates, call 3-1-1. You will have the option of receiving voice messages or texts in English or Spanish.
COVID-19 NEWS & UPDATES
For the latest news and updates about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, contact tracing, go to www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.
The website includes information in multiple languages. Click on the links below to access COVID-19 Multilingual Information.
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COVID-19 NEWS VACCINE
The Houston Health Department encourages you to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones as supply increases and it becomes available to you.
Distribution to Critical Populations
At this time, the Houston Health Department is distributing the Moderna vaccine to Phase 1A and Phase 1B critical populations as identified by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Phase 1A focuses on front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B focuses on people 65 and older and those with medical conditional that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Appointments for Houston Health Department vaccine clinics are full through the end of January, based on current supply. As supply increases, the department will make vaccine available at mega sites, multi-service centers, health centers, community locations, and mobile clinics. The health department will announce vaccination opportunities via news releases and social media when vaccine supply becomes available. A link to the appointment portal will be posted at https://houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/.
As vaccine availability increases and more people become eligible, people will be able to get vaccinated at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals and other “usual” sites. People who qualify should contact their medical provider or use the Texas Department of State Health Services' online map to find and call vaccine providers.
For comprehensive information about COVID-19 vaccines, go to https://houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/.
COVID-19 VACCINE CONVERSATIONS – FACEBOOK LIVE SERIES
Get the Facts. Share the Facts. Stop the Rumors.
Mayor Sylvester Turner will host a series of Facebook live conversations on the COVID-19 vaccine with trusted health experts to share facts, dispel rumors and respond to questions from the public. Residents are invited to participate in these live conversations. The dates will be announced soon. For more information, go to www.houstontx.gov/getthefacts.
COVID-19 TESTING – FREE, FAST, SAFE
Free COVID-19 testing is available to everyone, regardless of symptoms, at numerous locations locations throughout the city. You will not be asked for citizenship status or proof of insurance.
For a weekly schedule of Houston Health Department and agency partners testing locations, go to: www.houstonemergency.org/covid-19-testing.
For information by phone, call the COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT NEWSLETTER
Houstonians are invited to subscribe to the Houston Health Department’s Houston Healthscope electronic newsletter for COVID-19 updates. The latest issue is available here. Register for Houston HealthScope!
PANDEMIC RECOVERY RESOURCES
SERVICES & REFERRALS LISTINGS
The City of Houston offers information about COVID-19 recovery resources such as food assistance, legal advice and educational services to help neighbors during this difficult time. For a list of services and resources offered by city departments, community groups and businesses, go to https://houstonrecovers.org/covid19/. For referrals to a wide range of social services, people can also call the United Way Helpline at 2-1-1.
EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a nationwide temporary eviction moratorium for eligible tenants through January 31, 2021. Additionally, the Texas Supreme Court has issued an order in support of the CDC's declared moratorium.
- For details and resources for tenants, go to: https://houstontx.gov/housing/landing/cdc-eviction.html,
- To access formational flyer available in several languages, click on link: https://houstontx.gov/housing/landing/cdc-eviction.html.
- For assistance by phone, call the Eviction Defense Coalition Hotline at 713-982-7340.
The Houston Food Bank provides food assistance through its many affiliated agencies and pantries across the region. For a map of food distribution locations, go to www.houstonfoodbank.org/find-help/agency-locator/. For other sources of food assistance, visit https://houstonrecovers.org/covid19food/.
HELP WITH LEGAL ISSUES
Houston Bar Association – Help with Evictions
Go to www.hba.org/evictions for information on free legal assistance and resources. The site includes a self-representation kit and referrals to mediation resources and lawyers. Anyone who has received an eviction notice should act as soon as possible. For other resources, also visit www.makejusticehappen.org.
The Houston Bar Association’s free LegalLine provides basic legal advice and helpful resources on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. To sign up for a time slot, go to www.hba.org/legalline or call 713-759-1133. You must register 24 hours in advance.
Consejos Legales – Virtual Legal Advice in Spanish
Free legal advice is available to the Spanish-speaking community through the Consejos Legales, a partnership between the Mexican American Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of Houston and Houston Bar Association. Consejos Legales takes place the first Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteer attorneys provide simple legal advice, answers to legal questions, and referrals to helpful resources. Callers may register online for a 20-minute appointment no later than a day in advance at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084ba9ad23aafc1-consejos.
Información en español: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084ba9ad23aafc1-consejos
The city's Financial Empowerment Centers offer free one-to-one financial counseling to Houston residents. The services are provided by the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities. Get guidance on to how to manage your money, pay down debt, increase savings, establish credit and more. To make an appointment, go to www.houstontx.gov/fec.
COPING WITH COVID -- Online program teaches parents how to help their children
The Coping with COVID program, a collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health System, provides free parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children in Texas who are experiencing stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 6 weekly 60-minute therapy sessions are delivered by therapists through Zoom. No in-person visits are required. CBT is an evidenced-based therapy that is one of the best treatments for stress and anxiety in children. CBT teaches children how to identify, challenge, and overcome unhelpful anxiety-related habits and thought patterns. In parent-led therapy, parents learn skills to cope with stress and anxiety which they can then teach to their child. The child does not need to directly speak with the therapist.
You and your child may be eligible for Coping with COVID if:
- Your child is experiencing stress or anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Your child is 5 to 13 years old.
- You live in the state of Texas and can be in Texas during treatment sessions.
- You are willing and able to participate fully in treatment and assessments.
- Your child can communicate verbally.
If you are interested in participating in Coping with COVID, call (832) 206-4034 or email email@example.com. You will be pre-screened by Coping with COVID staff over the phone. This initial conversation will help staff determine if the services offered through Coping with COVID may be a good fit for you and your child.
All sessions will be provided via Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant and secure video-conferencing platform. Referrals to community resources will be provided as needed.
SAFE HARBOR COURT -- Assistance for Houstonians Unable to Pay Court Fines
The Houston Municipal Courts Department’s Safe Harbor Court assists people unable to pay fines and fees due to financial hardships and medical issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe Harbor Court judges work with Class C misdemeanor defendants to find solutions to satisfy their judgements and prevent cases from going into delinquent or warrant status.
Options available to defendants are determined on a case by case basis and may include fine forgiveness, deferred payment and community service.
To qualify for Safe Harbor Court assistance, defendants must present evidence of hardships arising from the pandemic, such as banks statements, eviction notices, and WIC, CIP and SSI/TANF documents.
The Safe Harbor Court was approved by Mayor Sylvester Turner as part of his Complete Communities Initiative and the Task Force on Police Reform.
For more information, call the City of Houston Helpline at 3-1-1 or visit www.houstontx.gov/courts.
SERVICES FOR SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Houston Area Women’s Center Domestic Violence Hotline
The Houston Area Women’s Center 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline offers free confidential assistance to survivors of domestic violence. To reach the hotline, call 713-528-2121 or TTY-713-528-3625. For more information, click on the following link: https://www.domesticshelters.org/help/tx/houston/77019/houston-area-women-s-center.
Alliance Wellness Clinic - Multilingual Assistance
The Alliance Wellness Clinic offers counseling for survivors of domestic violence and abusive partners. The clinic’s 24/7 Mental Health Helpline is staffed with multilingual counselors. To reach the helpline, call 855-699-8800. For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET YOUR FLU SHOT!
Flu vaccination saves lives, so roll your #SleeveUp and get your flu shot today. People can visit their doctor or neighborhood pharmacy to get a flu shot. The Houston Health Department offers flu shots at its health centers to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale that ranges from free to $15. To find the nearest health center and make an appointment to get vaccinated, call 832-393-5427 or the City of Houston 311 Help and Info line.