September 23, 2021
SERVING NEIGHBORHOODS BULLETIN
In this Issue: • Department of Neighborhoods Services: *Matching Grants for Neighborhood Improvement Projects *Office of New Americans Serves Diverse Communities *Free Online Workshops on Legal Topics *Neighborhood Updates *Volunteer to Make a Difference • National Night Out • Pandemic Recovery Resources: *Official Website *Vaccination Sites *In-Home Vaccination *Vaccine Gift Cards *Vaccine Additional Doses *Vaccine Booster Shots *Testing Sites *In-Home Testing • Interactive Dashboard Tracks SARS-COV-2 • Website Tracks City’s Use of COVID-19 Federal Funds • Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program • Lone Star Legal Aid – Free Legal Services
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS SERVICES
MATCHING GRANTS SUPPORT NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
Community-based nonprofits invited to apply by November 5, 2021!
The FY 2022 Neighborhood Matching Grant Program application period is open! The program supports neighborhood improvement and beautification projects by providing dollar-for-dollar matching grant reimbursements ranging from $500 to $5,000. The application deadline is November 5, 2021, 5 p.m. The program is administered by the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) in partnership with participating Houston City Council offices.
The purpose of the program is to support sustainable projects that improve the appearance of neighborhoods, strengthen organizations, increase resident participation, and build stronger communities. Neighborhood-based organizations and civic clubs with State of Texas 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit certification are eligible to apply. Neighborhood-based organizations without official nonprofit status may apply in partnership with a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organization as co-applicant. Grant projects must represent a specific geographic area located within the Houston city limits. Grant applicants must identify how the organization will fund and support the project in the future.
For all eligibility requirements and the application form, go to www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods and click on “Neighborhood Matching Grants.”
OFFICE OF NEW AMERICANS SERVES DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
The Department of Neighborhoods Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities (ONAIC) works with nonprofit organizations to connect immigrants and refugees to essential services and informational resources. ONAIC partners with community groups to offer citizenship forums, encourage civic engagement, showcase the city’s rich cultural diversity, and promote Houston as a welcoming city. The office also oversees the City’s Language Access Program and the Mayor’s Advisory Council of New Americans. To inquire about out how your organization can become involved in these efforts, call 832-395-9913.
FREE ONLINE WORKSHOPS ON LEGAL TOPICS
The Department of Neighborhoods invites residents to take advantage of A Month of Service, free monthly online workshops covering a wide range of legal topics conducted by volunteer lawyers and subject experts.
- Tenant rights during the pandemic
- Immigration concerns during the pandemic
- Estate planning
- Inherited property
- Probate concerns
- First-time homebuyers
- Home sale by owner
- Foreclosure prevention
- “Coffee & Conversation” with City department representatives
Workshop offerings are posted at the start of each month. To register, go to www.nrcdc.org/site/getregistered and click on the date/session of interest or call 346-339-1088. Registrants without internet can participate in the workshops by phone. All workshops are recorded and accessible at www.facebook.com/nrcdc.houston.
SUBSCRIBE TO “NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATES”
Stay informed by phone!
Subscribe to Neighborhood Updates to receive brief telephone messages about essential city services and resources. You will have the option of receiving voice messages or texts in English or 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. [English Flyer] [Spanish Flyer]
VOLUNTEER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The Department of Neighborhoods’ Volunteer Initiatives Program (VIP) recruits volunteers to help with a wide range of community service projects sponsored by City departments and community partners through its volunteer registration portal, www.HoustonNeighborhoods.org. The site also serves as a venue for nonprofit organizations to announce volunteer opportunities. We invite Houstonians to sign up to help for a worthy cause and welcome community groups to list their volunteer opportunities. For more information, call the VIP office at 832-393-1061.
DON's Volunteer Initiatives Program engaged youth in the observance of 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Mayor's Youth Council volunteers cleaned the gravesites of military veterans at the Houston National Cemetery.
2021 NATIONAL NIGHT OUT - OCTOBER 5
A community-building campaign!
“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.”
--Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
The Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and surrounding law enforcement agencies invite everyone to participate in the 38th Annual Houston/Harris County National Night Out (NNO) campaign, Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer. It’s a great opportunity for police and neighbors get together and share information and concerns under positive circumstances. Numerous block gatherings and events will be held in neighborhoods throughout the county. Houston NNO event organizers are asked to submit information about their events to their neighborhood police substations. For a list of HPD substations, click on link: www.houstontx.gov/police/contact/substations.htm. For more information, call the HPD Office of Community Affairs at 832-584-4671.
PANDEMIC RECOVERY RESOURCES
For the latest COVID-19 updates on vaccinations, testing sites, contact tracing and recovery services, go to www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19. 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
TAKE THE VACCINE!
Take your best shot to end the pandemic by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated is FREE and does not require ID, proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance. For vaccination sites, go to www.houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/.
Free in-home COVID-19 vaccination is available to qualifying older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans. To see if you qualify for this in-home service, call 832-393-4301.
VACCINE GIFT CARDS
The Houston Health Department (HHD) will provide $100 gift cards to individuals who receive the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at an eligible health department site as of August 26, 2021. Gift cards valued at $50 will be awarded with second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine administered at eligible health department sites. To qualify for the second dose incentive, people must have received their first dose on or after August 2, 2021 at an eligible health department site and complete the series within 42 days. For eligible vaccination sites, go to Gift Cards for COVID-19 Vaccinations – City of Houston Emergency Operations Center or call 832-393-4220. Vaccination at HHD-affiliated COVID-19 sites are available with or without appointments.
COVID-19 ADDITIONAL DOSES
CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses. An additional dose intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series is not the same as a booster dose, given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time.
COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS
Federal health officials plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to some Americans this fall, pending final FDA evaluation and formal recommendations from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For FAQs concerning vaccine booster shots, go to COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot | CDC.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
The Houston Health Department and partner agencies offer free COVID-19 testing at sites across the city. For testing locations, go to www.HoustonEmergency.org or call 832-393-4220.
COVID-19 IN-HOME TESTING
The Harris County Area Agency on Aging offers COVID-19 in-home testing. To qualify, you must reside in Harris County. For more information, call 832-393-4301 or 800-213-8471.
INTERACTIVE DASHBOARD TRACKS SARS-COV-2
The Houston Health Department and Rice University have launched an online public dashboard tracking the level of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in Houston’s wastewater. The interactive dashboard displays levels of the virus in samples collected from the city’s 39 wastewater treatment plants and many HISD schools. The data helps identify the prevalence of the virus and trends at the community level. The health department, Houston Water, Rice University, and Baylor College of Medicine started testing the city’s wastewater in May 2020 to more quickly identify emerging outbreaks and hotspots needing interventions to help stop the spread of the virus. To access the interactive COVID-19 wastewater monitoring dashboard, go to houstonemergency.org/covid19.
WEBSITE TRACKS CITY’S USE OF COVID-19 FEDERAL FUNDS
The City of Houston has launched a new website for the public to track how $600 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are being spent. Most funds will support the salaries of first responders who are critical in our fight against COVID-19. To learn how the funds are benefiting Houstonians, visit www.houstontx.gov/arpa.
HOUSTON-HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
The Houston-Harris County Rental Assistance Program helps renters facing housing instability due to financial losses caused by the pandemic and whose income is below 80% of the Area Median Family Income. So far, the program has provided almost $200 million in rental relief to 51,000 families who are struggling financially because of continued pandemic-related job cuts and wage decreases. An additional $86 million has been announced by the U.S. Treasury Department for the Houston-Harris County program, given how quickly the initial funds have been disseminated to help people in need. The funds are being distributed by BakerRipley and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Houston and Harris County tenants may apply and landlords may enroll in the program at www.HoustonHarrisHelp.org. For questions, call 832-402-7568.
LONE STAR LEGAL AID – FREE LEGAL SERVICES
Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm that offers resources for Texas individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For information about free legal services and links to resources available through trusted organizations, click on link: COVID-19 Eviction and Other Resources – Lone Star Legal Aid. If you need immediate legal assistance, you can apply for services by phone at 1-800-733-8394 or online here. To reach their Houston office, call 713-652-0077. Intake hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.|1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday.
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