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December 10, 2021

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SERVING NEIGHBORHOODS BULLETIN

TaKasha Francis Message

Mayor Turner with Pancho Claus

In this Issue:

  • Department of Neighborhoods Highlights
    • Complete Communities University
    • Citizenship Forum and Resources
    • Good Neighbor Project & Volunteer Opportunities
    • Workshops on Legal Topics
    • Neighborhood Updates Phone Notifications
  • Christmastime Raffle for Seniors
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Free Legal Assistance
  • Police Transparency Hub
  • COH 311 Platform & Mobile App
  • Trash Collection Reminders Mobile App
  • City Holiday Office Closures

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS HIGHLIGHTS

Congratulations, Complete Communities University Graduates!
The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is proud to announce the inaugural Complete Communities University (CCU) Class of Fall 2021 graduation. Twenty-three graduates were honored at a graduation ceremony held on December 1, 2021 at the Houston Public Library Barbara Bush Literary Plaza. The graduates completed an online eight-week leadership training course designed to empower civic leaders and promote civic action in Houston neighborhoods. They represent new and emerging leadership in City Council Districts A, B, C, D, F, G, H, and I, including Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities of Alief, Near Northside, Magnolia, Kashmere, and Sunnyside.

Complete Communities University Graduates

Complete Communities University graduates happily pose after the graduation ceremony held at the Barbara Bush Literary Plaza on December 1, 2021.

Apply for CCU Course Enrollment! Deadline: February 11, 2022
The objectives of the CCU initiative are to coach emerging leaders on civic engagement methods and techniques, cultivate a positive relationship between the City of Houston and community leaders, and promote the participation of residents in civic activities to help vitalize neighborhoods.

The CCU course will be offered on a quarterly basis. The winter 2022 session will run from March 2 to April 20, 2022. Interested Houston residents are invited to apply for enrollment in the course by the February 11, 2022 deadline. To apply, go to www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods and click on Complete Communities University.

Office of New Americans Citizenship Forum & Resources
The Department of Neighborhoods’ Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities (ONAIC) presented a U.S. citizenship forum for City of Houston employees and family members on December 2 at the Houston Public Library Central Branch. Volunteer immigration attorneys informed the employees about the citizenship process, eligibility requirements, and the benefits of citizenship. The participants received one-on-one assistance with the completion of citizenship applications.

Citizenship Applications Assistance

Twenty-five City employees received assistance with the completion of citizenship applications on December 2 at the downtown Houston Public Library.

The workshop was presented in partnership with BakerRipley, Houston Metropolitan Credit Union, and the City’s Human Resources and Health departments.

Citizenship forums in the community will be announced at a later date. For citizenship resources, click on link: Citizenship Resources (houstontx.gov).

Good Deeds by “Good Neighbors”
The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) sends a big “THANK YOU!” to the 24 members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity volunteers who provided a series of lawn maintenance services for 13 seniors in several Houston neighborhoods under our Good Neighbor Project. Launched last August, the project was recently completed, with the final yard work carried out by volunteers at residences in Acres Homes.

We extend special thanks to Pastor Enid Henderson with Ebenezer United Methodist Church for hosting a staging area and breakfast for our volunteers. The Good Neighbor Project will be launched again next summer.

Good Neighbor Project

Left: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity volunteers carry out the final mowing at a residence in Acres Homes. Right: Pastor Enid Henderson with United Methodist Church, a supporter of the Good Neighbor Project, and project coordinator Paul Green smile for the camera.

Volunteer for community service!
DON’s Volunteer Initiatives Program (VIP) offers many volunteer community service opportunities. We invite you to register to volunteer at www.HoustonNeighborhoods.org. The portal also allows nonprofits to post calls for volunteers. For more information, call the VIP office at 832-393-1061.

Free Workshops on Legal Topics

A Month of Service Graphic

The Department of Neighborhoods invites residents to take advantage of A Month of Service online workshops on legal topics. The workshops topics include estate planning, wills, inheriting property, probate, property tax protests, foreclosure prevention, tenant rights, immigrant concerns during the pandemic, and first-time homebuyer education. The series also features “Coffee and Conversation,” a session with City staff focused on neighborhood concerns.

Workshop offerings are announced 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.

Upcoming Workshops

  • Dec. 16, 6 p.m. – First-time Homebuyer Education (Part 1)
  • Dec. 18, 10 a.m. – First-time Homebuyer Education (Part 2)

*To register, go to www.bit.ly/AMOSworkshops or call 346-339-1088.

Subscribe to Neighborhood Updates!

Subscribe to Neighborhood Updates

Subscribe to Neighborhood Updates to receive phone messages about essential city services via text or voice mail in English or Spanish. To subscribe, call 311. [English Flyer]  [Spanish Flyer]

CHRISTMASTIME RAFFLE FOR SENIORS
“Make A Wish” for a Healthier Home!
Entry Deadline – December 24, 2021

Area Agency on Aging Christmastime Flyer

It is Christmas time and the Harris County Area Agency on Aging in partnership with Brown Sterling Builders would like you to “Make A Wish” for a safer healthier home come true! If you are interested in submitting your name for our raffle for home weatherization, or installation of safety grab bars, or replacement of non-working appliances, or an AC/Heat unit, or a 2022 fresh look, submit your entry on the form in the graphic below.  The raffle entry deadline is December 22, 2021. The drawing will take place on December 24, 2021.

To qualify for the drawing, you must meet all the following requirements:

  • Must be an older adult 75 years of age or older
  • Must be a caregiver of a relative or spouse, a disabled child, or raising grandchildren
  • Must be the legal homeowner
  • In need of financial assistance
  • Must reside in Harris County
  • Must not have previously received residential repair services from the Harris County Area Agency on Aging

If you need assistance, please call 832-393-4301.

COVID-19 UPDATES

Houston Health Department Confirms Two Omicron Cases
On December 10, the Houston Health Department (HHD) confirmed two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. This follows earlier reports of variant cases issued by a local hospital and two other area health departments. These reports validate the community spread of the Omicron variant in Houston area.

This update follows HHD’s report of the presence of the variant in Houston’s wastewater samples collected November 29-30 at 8 of the city’s 39 wastewater treatment plants, including Water Control & Improvement District (WCID) #111, Chocolate Bayou, Keegans Bayou, Metro Central, Northgate, Sims Bayou North, Turkey Creek, and West District.

Federal health officials are conducting studies on whether Omicron is more transmissible, causes more serious illness, or evades vaccine protection compared to other variants of the virus. Results are expected in the next few weeks.

Protect yourself, your family, and our community!

Get Vaccinated

Vaccination is our best tool to reduce cases, prevent serious illness and death, slow the emergence of new variants. If you are 18 years or older and it’s been six months since your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or two months since the single dose of Johnson & Johnson, get your booster shot.

The health department offers any dose of all COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible ages (5+) at its vaccination sites. Vaccination is free and does not require proof of residency. A list of vaccination sites is available at houstonhealth.org or by calling 832-393-4220.

For the latest COVID-19 information, including vaccination sites, testing locations, and recovery resources, visit www.HoustonEmergency.org/covid19/.

Who needs to get tested?

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.

FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE

HBA LegalLine
The Houston Bar Association’s free LegalLine provides simple legal advice and helpful resources on the first and third Wednesday of each 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.

Fight Evictions
Local legal groups are working together to help Houston area residents fight evictions. Go to www.hba.org/evictions for information on free legal assistance and resources. The site includes a self-representation kit, mediation resources, lawyer referrals, and access to an online portal designed to help residents understand their legal rights and remedies. Anyone who has received an eviction notice should act as soon as possible! Other sources of information can be accessed at www.makejusticehappen.org.

Consejos Legales
The Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, in collaboration with the Houston Bar Association, offer free legal advice by phone or online to the Spanish-speaking community on the first Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteer attorneys provide basic legal advice, answers to legal questions, and referrals to helpful resources. Callers may register online for a 20-minute consultation no later than a day in advance at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084ba9ad23aafc1-consejos.

POLICE TRANSPARENCY HUB

Police Transparency Hub

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the launch of the City of Houston Police Transparency Hub to make it easier for the public to file a complaint against a police officer and search information about the Houston Police Department’s encounters and demographics. The complaint form is available in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, French and Arabic. Complaints may be filed anonymously online or with community organizations. Complaints can also be submitted to the Deputy Office of Inspector General in person at the Office of Policing Reform and Accountability. For more information, call 832-393-6772 or go to COH_Policing_Reform@houstontx.gov.

CITY OF HOUSTON 311 PLATFORM & MOBILE APP

3-1-1 Mobile Graphic

The City of Houston 311 platform makes it easy and convenient for customers to request information about city services and report non-emergency issues. There are three ways to create a service request: by smart phone app (Apple and Google) or web portal via the Virtual Agent, or by calling 311.

MOBILE APP FOR TRASH COLLECTION REMINDERS

The Solid Waste Management Department’s HTX Collects mobile app 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.”

CITY HOLIDAYS OFFICE CLOSURES

The City of Houston will be closed Friday, December 24 and Monday, December 27 to celebrate the Christmas holiday, and Monday, January 3 to celebrate the new year.

Happy Holidays from the Department of Neighborhoods!

Happy Holidays Graphic

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