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March 15, 2021

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SERVING NEIGHBORHOODS BULLETIN

TaKasha Francis Message

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS ANNOUNCEMENTS

REPORT WINTER STORM DAMAGES
Hotline Assists Seniors & Disabled Residents Report Damages

Houstonians should report residential damage caused by the severe winter weather to help the City provide an accurate summary of damage to homes and other structures. This is necessary for the city to receive state and federal recovery assistance that meets the needs of residents.

The Department of Neighborhoods and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities have set up a special hotline to assist seniors and disabled residents with the completion of the Personal Property Damage Reporting form by phone.  To reach the hotline, call 3-1-1 and ask to be connected to the Department of Neighborhoods hotline. The hotline will be accessible through March 22, 2021.

Residents may also report damages online at http://bit.ly/DamageReportEn for English or http://bit.ly/DamageReportES for español. Do not use the damage reporting form to request direct assistance or disaster relief. For winter storm recovery resources, go to https://houstonrecovers.org/2021-winter-storm-resources/.

WINTER STORM RECOVERY COMMUNITY RESOURCES
The Department of Neighborhoods has prepared a list of winter storm recovery resources to help residents find the help they need. To access the list, click on the link: https://mailchi.mp/6f586fc22433/txwx-2021-03.

HELP NEIGHBORS RECOVER FROM THE WINTER STORM
Call for Volunteers!

Winter Storm Volunteers

The Department of Neighborhoods Volunteer Initiatives Program is recruiting volunteers to help our neighbors recover from the recent winter storm!  Sign up to be contacted about future volunteer opportunities. Volunteer activities include helping at water and food distribution sites and assisting with the clean-up of homes damaged in the storm.  Sign up at bit.ly/TXWinterStorm.

COVID-19 RESOURCES GUIDE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
The COVID-19 Guide to City of Houston Resources for Immigrants and Refugees is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Arabic, French, and English.  The guide was produced by the Department of Neighborhoods’ Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities to provide basic COVID-19 prevention and recovery information for hard to reach residents at high risk for contracting the virus.  To access this resource, go to www.houstonemergency.org/covid19translated/.

Covid Guide Cover Graphic

“A MONTH OF SERVICE” FREE ONLINE WORKSHOPS
Sign up for Workshops on Legal Topics of Interest During the Pandemic

The Department of Neighborhoods invites the public to register for “A Month of Service” free online workshops covering a wide range of legal topics of importance during the pandemic.

A Month of ServiceThe monthly series is sponsored by the department in partnership with Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corporation, Harris County Appraisal District, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, TSU Earl Carl Institute, Lone Star Legal Aid, and the Houston Bar Association.

The workshops are intended for informational purposes only and are not forums for legal advice.

Upcoming Workshops

  • How to Handle Inherited Property (Clearing Title & Probate Concerns) – 3/16/21, 1-3 p.m.
  • Taxpayer Rights: Income and Responsibility – 3/18/21, 1-3 p.m.
  • Create Your Own Estate Plan in a Time of COVID-19 – 3/23/21, 1-3 p.m.
  • Coffee & Conversation on Neighborhood Concerns (Breakout Rooms) – 3/24/21, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Foreclosure Prevention & Mortgage Protection – 3/25/21, 1-3 p.m.

Workshop schedules are posted at the beginning of each month. All sessions are recorded and posted online at www.facebook.com/nrcdc.houston.

Register today!
To register, go to www.bit.ly/AMOSworkshops and click on the date/session of interest or call 346-339-1088. Registrants without access to the internet will be able to participate in the workshops by phone.

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.

Phone Messenging Service

WINTER STORM RECOVERY

HOUSTON HARRIS COUNTY WINTER STORM RELIEF FUND OFFERS RECOVERY ASSISTANCE
The Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund is helping eligible residents impacted by the winter storm through a second round of grants invested in 39 nonprofit partners. The nonprofit partners will provide support to vulnerable neighbors recovering from the winter storm through emergency financial assistance, home repairs, and other recovery related expenses.

City of Houston and Harris County residents impacted by the storm should follow the steps below to apply for assistance.

Home Repair Assistance
Complete the Connective Home Repair Application online at https://www.connectivetx.org/winterstorm/home-repair.

If you do not have access to technology to fill out the form, call the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE and ask for assistance with the completion of the Connective Home Repair Application.

Financial Assistance
Contact the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE to be connected to a nonprofit partner providing winter storm recovery assistance in your area.

About the Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund
Launched by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Lina Hidalgo, the fund’s purpose is to support nonprofits providing relief and recovery efforts for individuals, families and communities impacted by the 2021 Severe Winter Storm Emergency in Harris County and the City of Houston. Along with disaster home repairs, the fund will support temporary housing and other basic needs. The fund is dedicated to filling the gaps that may not be met by other local and federal efforts. There will be a concerted effort to complement FEMA federal assistance. The Greater Houston Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Houston are jointly overseeing and administering the grant distribution process with the help of a grants committee, which will develop and execute a grant-making strategy and approve grants to nonprofit partners. The Foundation and United Way are now accepting donations online at www.WinterStormReliefFund.org.

FEMA EMERGENCY AID AVAILABLE TO TEXAS RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY WINTER STORM
FEMA federal aid is available to the state of Texas to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the recent severe winter storm.  Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas may apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

WINTER STORM RECOVERY RESOURCES
Houston residents should visit www.HoustonEmergency.org for updates on the City's ongoing response to the winter storm and recovery response and resources.  A list of storm recovery resources prepared by the Department of Neighborhoods is also available at https://mailchi.mp/6f586fc22433/txwx-2021-03.

COVID-19 NEWS & UPDATES

Official Website
For the latest COVID-19 updates on vaccinations, testing sites, contact tracing and recovery resources, go to www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.

Multilingual Information
The website includes a guide to COVID-19 resources for immigrants and refugees, available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Arabic, French, and English. To access the guide, click on the link here -- COVID-19 Multilingual Information.

አማርኛ  | Español | عربى | 中文 | دری | فارسی | Français | ဗမာ | پښتو | Kiswahili | ትግርኛ | Tiếng Việt

Mayor Turner Wearing a Mask

Mayor Sylvester Turner urges everyone to continue to mask up and follow all CDC COVID-19 prevention protocols.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

Take Your Best Shot

COVID-19 Vaccinations Eligibility Expansion
People age 50 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, under the latest criteria from Texas Department of State Health Services. Childcare and school workers, people age 16 and older with chronic health conditions, and frontline health care workers remain eligible.

Houston Health Department Vaccine Waitlist
Registration for the Houston Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine waitlist is available at www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19. People age 60 and older who need registration assistance can call the Area Agency on Aging at 832-393-4301. Registration assistance for people with disabilities is available via the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 832-393-5500. Anyone else needing registration assistance can call the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.

Second Doses
The Houston Health Department reaches out by text message and email 24-48 hours before the recommended second dose due date with a link to self-register for an appointment.  People who are overdue for their second dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the Houston Health Department can email HHDCOVID19.CRT@houstontx.gov or call 832-393-5190 Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to schedule their second dose appointment.

New Appointments
Learn about new appointment opportunities via email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notification by registering for the “HoustonRecovers” subscription of  AlertHouston at www.AlertHouston.org.  Appointments are based on vaccine availability, and current appointments may be adjusted based on the department’s allotment.

Vaccine FAQs
For responses to frequently asked questions, click on link: Vaccine Clinic Frequently Asked Questions – City of Houston Emergency Operations Center.

Harris County Public Health Waitlist
To join the Harris County Public Health waitlist, go to www.ReadyHarris.org or call 832-927-8787.

COVID-19 TESTING -- FREE, FAST, SAFE
Testing Sites – Weekly Schedule
Free COVID-19 testing is available to everyone, regardless of symptoms, at numerous sites 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.

In-Home COVID-19 Testing for Harris County Residents
The Houston Health Department is offering COVID-19 in-home health testing. To qualify for this service, you must be a resident of Harris County. To find out how you, a family member or friend can receive this in-home service, call the Houston Harris County Area Agency on Aging at 832-393-4914 or 832-393-4528.

Covid In-Home Health Testing Graphic

DISASTER RECOVERY RESOURCES

RENTAL ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES AT RISK OF EVICTION
The City of Houston and Harris County are working together to provide rent and utilities assistance to families who are at risk of losing their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are being distributed by BakerRipley and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Applications are being accepted from renters, and landlords are invited to enroll in the program. Assistance will not be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis but will instead be distributed randomly.

Eviction NoticeAssistance Overview

  • Help for past due rent dating back to April 2020 and up to two months of future rent for a maximum of 12 months
  • Utility assistance for past due electricity and water bills
  • Rent assistance through payments made directly to participating landlords
  • Direct assistance may be available to applicants whose landlords are not enrolled in the program.

Renter Eligibility

  • Household income below 80% of the HUD Area Median Family Income ($63,050 for a family of four in Houston)
  • At risk of homelessness or eviction due to past due rent or utilities
  • Facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic due to reduced work hours, unemployment, business closure or significant new costs.

How to Apply
To find out if you are eligible and to apply, go to www.HoustonHarrisHelp.org or call 832-402-7568.

Your landlord is not enrolled?
When you apply, you will be asked to search for your landlord from a list of enrolled landlords. If your landlord is not enrolled, encourage him or her to register at houstonharrishelp.org/landlords. You will be able to apply even if your landlord chooses not to participate.

FOOD ASSISTANCE

Food Assistance

Houston Food Bank
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/.

Parks Department Curbside Meal Programs
The Curbside Meal Program provides dinner and a snack to young people ages 1 to 18. The program runs Monday-Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. at select parks department sites. The meals are placed in program participants’ vehicles for hands-free distribution. Young people must be in the vehicles to receive the meals. For Curbside Meal Program sites, click on the following link: https://www.houstontx.gov/parks/pdfs/HPARDCurbsideMealProgramSite.pdf.

LEGAL AID
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.

HBA LegalLine
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 – Legal Advice in Spanish
The Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, in association with the Houston Bar Association, offer free legal advice to the Spanish-speaking community through Consejos Legales. 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.

Consejos Legales - Información en español:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084ba9ad23aafc1-consejos

"LIFT ZONES” CONNECT RESIDENTS TO INTERNET
Wi-Fi hotspots accessible at Designated City Multi-Service Centers & Select Parks Community Centers

Comcast Installer   Comcast and XFinity Employees

The City of Houston and Comcast announce the completion of 14 Lift Zone Wi-Fi Hotspots designed to help community members connect to the internet so they can fully participate in education opportunities and the digital economy.

The Wi-Fi hotspot sites are the result of a partnership between the City of Houston and Comcast to provide FREE internet connectivity at designated Houston Health Department Multi-Service Centers and select Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Centers for the next three years.

Multi-Service Centers Wi-Fi Hotspots
The Lift Zone Wi-Fi Hotspots are accessible indoors and outdoors during office hours at City multi-service centers listed below.  Appointments are currently required for indoor usage. To book an appointment call the multi-service center.

  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Rd. 77091, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-393-4145
  • Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, 6402 Market St. 77020, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-395-0895
  • Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center, 4014 Market St. 77020, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-393-3800
  • Hiram Clark Multi-Service Center, 3810 W. Fuqua St. 77045, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-393-4240
  • Kashmere Multi-Service Center, 4802 Lockwood Dr. 77026, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-393-5503
  • Magnolia Multi-Service Center, 7037 Capitol St. 77011, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-395-3380
  • Northeast Multi-Service Center, 9720 Spaulding St. 77016, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-395-0472
  • Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr. 77074, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-395-9900
  • Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St. 77004, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 832-393-4051
  • West End Multi-Service Center, 170 Heights Blvd. 77007, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.. 832-393-5950

Houston Parks Community Centers Wi-Fi Hotspots 
Residents are encouraged to use Lift Zone Wi-Fi Hotspots outdoors at Houston Parks Community Center locations listed below during regular park hours, which run from dawn to dusk unless otherwise posted.

  • Emancipation Park Community Center - 3018 Emancipation Ave. 77004
  • Hartman Park Community Center - 9311 E. Ave. P 77012
  • DeZavala Park Community Center - 907 76th St. 77012
  • Melrose Park Community Center - 1001 Canino Rd. 77076

NOTE:  Parks community center facilities remain closed at this time, except for After-School Enrichment Programming.

How to Sign up for Lift Zone Wi-Fi
To sign into the “Comcast Experience” Lift Zone Hotspots, visit an activated site and follow these steps below.  Once you have completed these steps, you will be connected to the internet.

  • Go to Wi-Fi Network Settings
  • Locate and select the LiftZone network
  • Accept Lift Zone Terms and Conditions

A password is not required to use the Lift Zone Hotspots; however, content security filtering is activated. Lift Zones are supported by Comcast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For troubleshooting assistance, call 833-LFT-ZONE (833-538-9663).

COMPUTER ACCESS BY APPOINTMENT AVAILABLE AT SELECT CITY LIBRARIES
The Houston Public Library offers computer access and use of printers by appointment at select library branch locations. Appointments may be made up to 7 days in advance. Sessions are limited to one 45-minute appointment per day. COVID-19 protocols are followed to ensure the safety of customers and staff. 
Computer access by appointment is available at the following locations:

  • Flores Neighborhood Library, 110 North Milby St. 77003
  • Henington-Alief Regional Library, 7979 South Kirkwood Rd. 77072
  • Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library, 8501 West Montgomery Rd. 77088
  • Scenic Woods Regional Library, 1067 Homestead Rd. 77016
  • Smith Neighborhood Library, 1624 Scott St. 77004
  • Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library, 7007 W. Fuqua St. 77489

For more information, visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.

FINANCIAL COUNSELING SERVICES
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. Seek 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.

FEC English   FEC Spanish

COVID-19 MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES FOR SENIORS
The Houston Health Department offers mental health counseling to adults ages 60 and older to help them cope with stress and challenges brought on by the pandemic. To request services, call 832-393-4301 and select Other Services, Option 4.

Mental Health Flyer - English   Mental Health Flyer - Spanish

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRISIS COUNSELING SERVICES
Houston Area Women’s Center Domestic Violence Hotline
Help GraphicThe Houston Area Women’s Center 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline offers free confidential assistance to survivors of domestic violence.  The reach the hotline, call 713-528-2121 or TTY-713-528-3625.  For more information, click on 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 wellness@thealliancetx.org.

CITY SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Apply March 15 – April 16!

Houston youth ages 26-24 are invited to apply for employment under the City of Houston 2021 Summer Jobs Program. Applicants must be available to work from June 14 – August 5, 2021. Youth hired will work 32 hours per week and earn $10 per hour. Opportunities are available in all City departments. 
Youth may apply online March 15 – April 16, 2021 at http://www.hirehoustonyouth.org. For more information or accommodations to complete the application, email summerjobsprogram@houstontx.gov.

Hire Houston Youth

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