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October 2022 Newsletter

Houston's Second Gun Buyback Program - Press Conference 09/26/22

Mayor Turner, City, County and Federal Leaders Announce Details of Second Gun Buyback

Mayor Sylvester Turner joined city, county, and federal partners today to announce details of the next gun buyback as part of the One Safe Houston initiative. The Mayor was joined by U.S. Rep. Al Green, U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis, City Council Member Tiffany Thomas and METRO Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran.
Following an overwhelming turnout during the first gun buyback on July 30, the second event will take place Saturday Oct. 8 from 8 a.m.– noon at the METRO Park & Ride, 11050 Harwin Dr.
Download and share the event flyer.

City of Houston Launches 100 Pantries in 100 Days initiative to address food deserts in Houston.

This month, Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Food Insecurity Board, Whirlpool Corporation and the Houston Food Bank announced the launch of the “100 Pantries in 100 Days” initiative to address food insecurity and food deserts in local Houston communities. Houston’s food insecurity rate is 4% higher than the national average.
The “100 Pantries in 100 Days initiative” announcement came shortly before, President Joe Biden’s White House Conference on food and nutrition and health. The conference focused on a strong plan to end hunger and diet-related illnesses by 2030.
The “100 Pantries in 100 Days” initiative has a mission to combat food insecurity in Houston by allowing local non-profits, including community centers and faith-based organizations, to establish food pantries in communities. The Houston Food Bank and nonprofits will provide fresh produce, meat, dairy and non-
perishable foods to those in need. Whirlpool will help support the food pantries by donating refurbished residential refrigerators.
City Council Member Edward Pollard, who leads the food insecurity board said “Food is a basic necessity of life, and no one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.”
“When we created the Food Insecurity Board last year, the goal was to put a spotlight on the issues and root causes of food insecurity in our city. I believe the 100 Pantries in 100 Days program is a powerful step forward that will help many families throughout Houston. We are truly grateful for Whirlpool Corporation’s contribution to this important effort,” Pollard said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the initiative is critical especially for his home community of Acres Home.
“Some of us standing here today have found ourselves in similar situations including myself,” added Turner. “As mayor I still reside in one of those communities that we would define as underserved and under-resourced, in an area that’s a food desert.”
Any nonprofit looking to help the “100 Pantries in 100 Days initiative” can apply online through the city’s food insecurity board page. The City of Houston is now accepting applications.

Bank of America Awards Grant to Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities

Gift will support Houston Business Development, Inc (HBDI), Bethune Empowerment Center, a Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities and Houston Business Development, Inc (HBDI) Collaboration Focused on Economic Development in the Acres Homes Community.
By partnering with Bank of America, the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities is making it easier for low-income families to gain access to financial, health, and educational resources.
The gift funds from Bank of America will support a brand-new 7,600 square foot, community commercial kitchen space at the Houston Business Development, Inc (HBDI), Bethune Empowerment Center in the Acres Homes community to address food insecurity and food deserts.
The Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC) community commercial kitchen will help to improve food security by pulling together resources to produce a
large quantity of food. The kitchen will also allow Acres Homes residents to have greater access fresh, affordable and nutritious food.
The community commercial kitchen will create space for culinary arts programming, community-based cooking programs, healthy cooking, nutrition classes, and social connectedness through learning about cooking, and building relationships around food.

Apply for Matching Grants to Improve
Your Neighborhood

We are improving Houston neighborhoods by providing a dollar-for-dollar matching grant reimbursement between $500 to $5,000 to help fund beautification and improvement projects. This program is administered in partnership through the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods and the City of Houston Council Member’s Offices.
Eligible organizations must meet the following criteria:
  • Applicants must be a neighborhood-based organization and/or civic club incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) or 501 (c) (4) non-profit organization through the State of Texas.
  • If the applying neighborhood-based organization is not 501 (c) (3) or 501 (c) (4), they must secure a 501 (c) (3) or 501 (c) (4) organization to partner with for this project.
  • Applicant organizations must represent a specific geographic area located in the Houston city limits.
  • Applicants must Identify how the organization will fund and support the project in the future.
Political organizations and individuals
are not eligible.
The deadline to submit an application packet is Friday, November 4, 2022, by 5:00 p.m.
To apply, download the packet and watch the informational workshop video to learn how to come up with a qualifying project, how to complete the application, and gain an understanding of the grant procurement process.

Calling ALL Senior High School Students:
FAFSA & TASFA Applications Open on October 1

The FAFSA and TASFA applications for financial aid to help pay for college will open on October 1st. There are a few things you can be doing now to prepare. You can learn more at 7 Things You Need Before Filling Out the FAFSA® Form – Federal Student Aid.
GRADcafé will be ready to provide assistance if you need help completing your application at any of
our locations. We will also be hosting an informative workshop to provide information to prepare you for a successful FAFSA or TASFA application completion. You can register at bit.ly/GRADcafeWorkshops.
Are you wondering which application you should complete? The graphic below will guide you in determining the application to complete.

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is Still Accepting Nominations and Applications for the 2022 Program

ICCC is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and supported by Regions Bank and the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity.
ICCC aims to help business owners in under-represented communities build capacity for sustainable growth and resiliency as well as survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on ICCC program criteria visit iccapitalconnections.org
Small-business owners that are interested can apply online.
Members of the public may also nominate small businesses by filling out the ICCC Nomination Form.

Get Financial Assistance for High Speed Internet Connectivity

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households.
Qualifying households may also be eligible to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For more information visit the FCC website.
October is National Pedestrian Safety Month
Get Notified When Houston Bayous are Flooding
The personal, physical and environmental benefits of walking can lead to healthier, quieter, cleaner and safer streets. Walking can also improve local economies and enhance social and community engagement, which can lead to more vibrant, resilient, and livable spaces. The City of Houston joins the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to observe October as National Pedestrian Safety Month.
Recent headlines show that Houston is not immune to pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities. In 2021, there were 331 total fatalities and 1,620 serious injuries on Houston’s streets, According to the Vision Zero Annual Report. This report contains data and year-over-year trends on crashes that have taken place on Houston streets.
The NHTSA also has an informative video on driving safely around pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Warning System (FWS) relies on a network of gage stations strategically placed throughout Harris County bayous and their tributaries.
The FWS website provides timely information collected by the flood gauges and displays it in a user-friendly format. You can also sign up to receive rainfall and water level alerts via text message and email.
Learn more at harriscountyfws.org.

Mark Your Calendar and Make Your Voice Heard

Get Vaccinated or Boosted at Events Across Houston

The Equitable Vaccination Acceptance and Distribution to Houston Complete Communities Initiative, also known as VAX HOU, is a Complete Communities project supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. VAX HOU’s mission is to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and advance health equity in the Houston Complete Communities.
VAX HOU team coordinates vaccine events that are conveniently located in the Complete Communities neighborhoods.
Texas Southern University
Thursday, Oct. 6, noon–2 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Avenue 360 and Fountain of Praise
Saturday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
14065 S. Main St.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Texas Southern University
Thursday, Oct. 13, noon–2 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Gulfton Opportunity Center Health Fair
Friday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Texas Southern University
Thursday, Oct. 20, noon–2 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
South Union Place Senior Living
Friday, Oct. 21, 11:000 a.m.–1 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Texas Southern University
Thursday, Oct. 27, noon–2 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Magnolia Park Dia de los Muertos Festival and Parade
Saturday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
7000 Avenue Q.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite
Cigna Sunday in the Park at
Eastwood Park
Sunday, Oct. 30, noon–4 p.m.
Pop Up Clinic will be be onsite

Acres Home Super Neighborhood
Brunch En Blanc October 15

The Acres Homes Super Neighborhood Council #6 will host the Acres Homes Brunch en Blanc on Saturday October 15 from 12:30–3:30 p.m. Seats are limited for this event and registration is required.
If you are interested in sponsorship please email [email protected] for details.

Attend the 2022 Fall Festival in Alief

Come out and have some fall fun at the Alief Community Garden, on Saturday October 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by the International District. There will be games, face painting, and contests. The event will be located at the Alief Community Garden at 8409 1/2 Dairy View, Houston, TX 77072
Free pumpkins for the first 250 kids, and don’t forget to wear your best costume!

Alief Super Neighborhood Council Meeting

Join us on Tuesday, October 25, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. for the Alief Super Neighborhood Council Meeting. The meeting will be held at Huntington Village HOA located at 9511 Cook Road.

Project Updates: Sidewalk Improvements Made
in Fort Bend Houston

City Council has approved over $3 million for sidewalk repairs throughout our city. Many of those repairs are included in District K.
Improved sidewalk locations include:
  • 3802 Cheryl Lynne Lane and Landmark
  • West side of Hillcroft from Alvarado to Greencraig
  • 4300 to 5000 W Bellfort
  • Intersection of OST & Kirby
  • Laughlin Drive from Ridgerock Road to Cardona Lane
  • Heatherbrook Drive from Ambie Lane to Altair Way
  • 7806 Chaseway Drive and Thornwild Drive

Fort Bend Houston Super Neighborhood #41
Council Meeting

The Super Neighborhood #41 meeting will be held on
Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m.
Please contact Troy Carter at [email protected]
for more information.
Enroll in the Work Texas Apprenticeship Training
for Crane & Rigging and Logistics
Work Texas is now enrolling for Crane & Rigging and Logistics. Classes start Friday Oct. 14, with entry level pay of $14–$18 an hour. Classes will be held at Gulfton Opportunity Center at 6500 A Chimney Rock Road.
To complete the Work Texas intake form and training pre-screening questionnaire, visit www.tfaforms.com.

Gulfton Area Community Center to Open Next Year

District J will soon have a new community center located at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Gethsemane. Local dignitaries and community leaders were on hand for a groundbreaking ceremony at the church, located at 6856 Bellaire
Blvd. The 55,000 square feet, two-story building will offer various non-profit and social service programs to the Southwest Houston area. The project is privately funded at $23 million dollars.
The community center is scheduled to be open by the end of 2023.

Madres Del Parque Day of Community Service

Mothers of The Park will host a day of Community Service in partnership with Good Reason Houston, in observance of National Heritage Month.
Help beautify the park, mix and mingle with Latin X and Hispanic organizations and community members to support the Gulfton community.
Volunteers will meet at Burnett Bayland Park on Saturday, October 8, 2022, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Attend the Gulfton National Night Out

Meet and greet your neighbors:
Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 6–8 p.m.
Burnett Bayland Park
6000 Chimney Rock Road, 77081
Kashmere Gardens

Audition for a Part in Dria Thornton’s Short Film

Houston Inspira Storyteller for Kashmere Gardens Complete Communities, Dria Thornton, will be holding auditions for a short film on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Library at 5411 Pardee Street. The purpose of the short film, titled Liberty Road, is to bring awareness to the environmental and generational impact of the Union Pacific Superfund site on Liberty Road and how it is negatively impacting Fifth Ward, Kashmere Gardens, and surrounding communities. If you or someone you know would like to participate, please sign up for auditions and get more details.

East Side Has a New BCycle Station

A new Bcycle station has been installed near Mickey Leland Memorial Park and the Cavalacade Community Center in Kashmere Gardens. The station consists of electric bikes and was made possible as part of the current effort by Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis to install 30 additional stations, half in underserved areas, along with 320 bicycles. To learn more visit https://www.hcp1.net/HoustonBikeShare.

Kashmere Gardens Super Neighborhood Meeting

The Kashmere Gardens Super Neighborhood #52 Council meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. For further meeting details, please contact the organization at [email protected] to receive the link and/or if you would like to be on the agenda to speak.

Celebrate the 9th Annual Magnolia Park
Dia de Los Muertos Festival

Join us at the Día De Los Muertos festival and parade, a family-friendly celebration of Mexican culture in the historically Latino Magnolia Park community. The event will take place on Saturday Oct. 29, starting with a parade at 11 a.m. at Hidalgo Park, 7000 Avenue Q.
Únase a nosotros en el festival y desfile del Día de los Muertos, una celebración familiar de la cultura mexicana en la comunidad históricamente latina de Magnolia Park. El evento se llevará a cabo el sábado 29 de octubre, comenzando con un desfile a las 11 a.m. en el Parque Hidalgo, 7000 Avenue Q.

Early Childhood Education Program
Open for Enrollment

A community-based free public school in partnership with Harris County Precinct 2, the Leonel Castillo Early Childhood STEM Academy offers a high quality early childhood education program, full day Pre-K3 & Pre-K4, in Houston’s Near Northside.
Registration is open for Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year. Learn more at ryss.org/castillo
Una escuela pública gratuita basada en la comunidad en asociación con el Precinto 2 del Condado de Harris, la Academia STEM para la Primera Infancia Leonel Castillo ofrece un programa de educación de la primera infancia de alta calidad, Pre-K3 y Pre-K4 de día completo, en el Near Northside de Houston.
La inscripción está abierta para Pre-K3, Pre-K4 y kindergarten para el año escolar 2022-2023. Obtenga más información en ryss.org/castillo

Wesley Offers Free, In-Person GED Test
Preparation Classes

Did you know Wesley Community Center offers free, In-Person GED Test Preparation Classes? Earn Your High School Equivalency Certificate Today! For more information call
713-821-8951 or if interested visit https://bit.ly/3qJCAlv.
Free Program includes: GED Review Book, Assessments & Pretesting, Practice Tests, Fourt Subject Area Test Review Classes, Computer Based Testing Preparation, Individualized Tutoring, No-Cost GED Test.

Wesley Ofrece Examen de GED Gratuito y en Persona
Clases de Preparación

¿Sabía que Wesley Community Center ofrece clases gratuitas de preparación para el examen GED en persona? ¡Obtenga su certificado de equivalencia de escuela secundaria hoy! Para mas informacion llame
713-821-8951 o si está interesado visite https://bit.ly/3qJCAlv.
El programa gratuito incluye: libro de revisión de GED, evaluaciones y pruebas previas, pruebas de práctica, clases de revisión de pruebas de cuatro áreas temáticas, preparación para pruebas basadas en computadora, tutoría individualizada, prueba de GED sin costo.

Attend the Near Northside Super Neighborhood Meeting

The Near Northside Super Neighborhood Council #51 meetings are held every fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27 at 6 p.m. at Avenue Center, 3517 Irvington Boulevard.
Las reuniones del Súper Consejo Vecinal #51 de Near Northside se llevan a cabo cada cuarto jueves del mes a las 6 p.m. La próxima reunión se llevará el jueves 27 de octubre a las 6 p.m. en Avenue Center, 3517 Irvington Boulevard.

Attend the Next Super Neighborhood #63 Meeting

Please join your community in meeting with Second Ward Super Neighborhood #63 at Baker Ripley (4410 Navigation) in room 135 on Monday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. We will hear from Judith Cruz, Houston ISD Trustee District VIII and many others.
Únase a su comunidad para reunirse con Second Ward Super Neighborhood #63 en Baker Ripley (4410 Navigation) en la sala 135 el lunes 3 de octubre a las 6:30 p.m. Escucharemos a Judith Cruz, Síndico del Distrito VIII de Houston ISD y muchos otros.

Sunnyside National Night Out

Sunnyside Civic Club will host the National Night Out on October 4, 2022, at the Sunnyside Park Gymnasium at 3502 Bellfort Street from 6–9 p.m. Visit with our police officers and city and county officials. Get involved and help promote police-community partnerships, and prevention of crime, drugs, and violence. Meeting and knowing your neighbors fosters neighborhood safety and unity.
To participate as a vendor, contact Sunnyside Civic Club at sunnysidecivicclubinc@gmail.com or Tracy Stephens at [email protected].

Sunnyside Community Day

The Cam Agency and Beyond the Game presents Community Day an event for friends family and fun in support of cancer awareness month. There will be live entertainment, raffles, DJs, vendors and competitive sports. See the Houston Fire Department vs Houston Police Department as the compete on the basketball court. Join us from 5–9 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Sunnyside Community Center at 3502 Bellfort Street.

Get Out and Get Moving on the Columbia Tap Trail

Take advantage of the outdoors by tapping into the Columbia Tap Trail. Cutting through the heart of historic Third Ward, the Columbia Tap is a 4-mile hike-and-bike trail completed in 2009 that follows the old Columbia Tap railroad route, connecting Houston’s downtown to the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail.
Check out some previous events on the trail:
To follow Friends of Columbia Tap on social media @friendsofcolumbiatap

Visit with Neighbors at Third Ward’s National Night Out

Come out and reconnect with your community
Tuesday, October 4
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Emancipation Park
3018 Emancipation Avenue

Attend the Virtual Third Ward Super Neighborhood Council Meeting

This year’s meeting will be held virtually on
Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m.
Zoom: Meeting ID- 865 6147 2957
Passcode- 489580

Stay Up to Date

Visit LetsTalkHouston.org to join the conversation