November 22, 2021
SERVING NEIGHBORHOODS BULLETIN
In this Issue:
- Department of Neighborhoods Highlights
- COVID-19 Recovery Resources
- Free Legal Assistance
- Medicare Enrollment Counseling
- Houston State of Health Portal
- Mobile App for Trash Collection Reminder
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS HIGHLIGHTS
MAYOR TURNER AND OFFICE OF NEW AMERICANS HOSTS NATURAIZATION CEREMONY
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Department of Neighborhood’s (DON) Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities (ONAIC) hosted a Naturalization Ceremony on November 17 at City Hall. Twenty petitioners from 12 countries of origin took the oath of citizenship administered by U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore. The ceremony featured U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization court proceedings and remarks by Mayor Turner, DON director TaKasha L. Francis and ONAIC manager Terence O’Neill.
FREE WORKSHOPS ON LEGAL TOPICS
The Department of Neighborhoods invites residents to take advantage of A Month of Service online workshops on legal topics. The monthly workshops focus on basic legalities and procedures that pertain to matters such as estate planning, wills, inheriting property, probate, property tax protests, and foreclosure prevention. The series also features workshops on tenant rights and immigrant concerns during the pandemic, as well as first-time homebuyer education and “Coffee and Conversation” with City staff focused on neighborhood concerns.
- December 2, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.: Legal Advanced Planning & Why You Need It
Presenter: Lone Star Legal Aid
- December 7, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.: Financial Scams & Exploitation of Seniors
Presenter: Harris County Adult Probation & Houston Police Department
- December 9, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.: First Time Home Buyer Part 1 - Orientation
December 11, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: First Time Home Buyer, Part 2 – Workshop
Presenter: NRCDC Houston
Workshop offerings are posted at the beginning of each month. Registrants without internet can participate in the workshops by phone. To register, go to www.nrcdc.org/site/getregistered and click on the date/session of interest or call 346-339-1088.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATES
Would you like to receive brief voice or text messages in English or Spanish informing you about essential city services and community resources? If so, we invite you to subscribe to Neighborhood Updates. This service is especially convenient for seniors and others who may not have easy access to the internet. To subscribe to Neighborhood Updates, call 3-1-1. You will have the option of receiving messages via voice or text and in English or Spanish. [English Flyer] [Spanish Flyer]
COVID-19 RECOVERY RESOURCES
For comprehensive information about COVID-19 information, including vaccination and testing sites and recovery resources, visit www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19/.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) VACCINE RECOMMENDATIONS
- For information on COVID-19 doses and booster shots for adults, click link:
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot | CDC.
- For information on COVID-19 vaccines for teens and children, click link:
COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens | CDC.
Vaccination is FREE and does not require proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance. The Houston Health Department and affiliates offer free vaccinations by appointment. Walk-ins are welcome. For vaccination sites, go to www.houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/. For more information, call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220.
The Houston Health Department offers free in-home COVID-19 vaccination to qualifying older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans. To find out if you qualify for this service and to make an appointment, call 832-393-4301.
WHO NEEDS TO GET TESTED?
The CDC recommends people who have symptoms and most people who had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19 be tested for COVID-19 infection.
The Houston Health Department and partner agencies offer free COVID-19 testing at sites throughout the city. For locations, go to www.HoustonEmergency.org or call 832-393-4220.
The Houston Harris County Area Agency on Aging offers COVID-19 in-home testing to eligible older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans who reside in Harris County. To inquire about this service, call 832-393-4301.
FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE
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 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. and 1:00-3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
MEDICARE ENROLLMENT COUNSELING
Medicare enrollment is open now through December 7. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries can compare health insurance and prescription drug coverage options and make changes for next year. New coverage begins January 1, 2022. The Harris County Area Agency on Aging offers free counseling to eligible Medicare beneficiaries or their legal representatives. Counselors are offering face-to-face meetings this year as well as appointments via Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and by telephone. To request services, call 832-393-4301. Beneficiaries can preview Medicare plans at www.medicare.gov.
HOUSTON STATE OF HEALTH PORTAL AIDS RESEARCH & PLANNING
The Houston Health Department announces the re-launch Houston State of Health, an interactive portal created to help people, cities, and planners learn and explore the health status of their communities. The state-of-the-art portal offers local health data, demographics, resources, best practices, news articles, and information about community events for Houston, Harris County and many other area cities and communities. Users can easily create data dashboards and reports for specific geographic areas such as zip codes and neighborhoods.
The portal is useful for research on public health indicators affecting the residents’ quality of life to set goals, evaluate progress, plan new programs and health interventions. Schools, community groups, health professionals, chambers of commerce, tourism professionals, students, researchers, and many other organizations can use this information to highlight the benefits and challenges of living in the Houston area. Groups can use data for funding applications as well. Users can also contribute information and ideas to highlight programs and successes of local, state, and national health departments. As the population continues to grow, master planners and governments can also use the portal to establish community improvement goals on a variety of platforms.
Stakeholders taking part in the portal include UT Health, U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, HCA Healthcare, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, March of Dimes, African American Health Coalition, and the Culture of Health – Advancing Together.
To access the data portal, click on link: Houston State of Health.
GET MOBILE APP FOR TRASH COLLECTION REMINDERS
The Solid Waste Management Department has launched the HTX Collects mobile app, which offers reminders of garbage, recycling, yard waste, and tree/junk waste collection dates for specific addresses. To download the mobile app for Apple and Android devices, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search “Houston Trash and Recycling.”
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