Community News

YMCA: Upcoming Events

October 25, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Y Rewards – Houston Rockets

rocketsBring your family and friends to the Toyota Center as the Houston Rockets take on the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, October 30 and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, November 14. Use promo code: ymca.

If you have any questions or need assistance ordering, contact Andrew Cornutt at 713-758-7563 or Don’t forget to mention YMCA when you call.

Get Tickets >>

Helping You Live Better – LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

livestrongOctober is Work Out for Pink month at the YMCA of Greater Houston. Did you know the Y has a free program in place to support cancer survivors and help guide them to regain their strength after fighting such a difficult battle?

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12-week program that supports cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their “new normal.” YMCA wellness coaches are trained in the elements of cancer, post rehab exercise and supportive cancer care.

Learn More >>

Discover Your Super Powers – Link Up Greater Houston

superpowersMiddle school and high school students are invited to join us at Link Up Greater Houston on Saturday, November 12 from 9 am to 4 pm. This free conference is a collaboration of 20 youth-serving organizations that come together each year to provide students with an opportunity to grow through positive experiences while promoting positive attitudes and choices.

Featuring inspirational speakers and exciting performances, youth will engage in activities and interactive sessions that will help them:

  • Voice their concerns
  • Build positive relationships and communication skills
  • Learn about tools that will help them to meet their potential

Register Today >>

Moments in a Day, Memories for a Lifetime

memoriesY Guides and Princesses encourages parents and their children in first through third grade to spend uninterrupted time together building lifelong memories and bonds.

The participants form tribes with seven to nine other father/child pairs in their community and meet in members’ homes once or twice a month to do fun activities like games, crafts and stories. Some tribes organize monthly outings like camping, community service projects, hiking, cookouts, short trips and more. There are trips planned for November and December, so sign up now!

More Details >>

Milkweeb Propagation Workshop, Oct. 26

October 25, 2016 • Continue Reading »


Hosted by
Houston Parks & Recreation Department’s Natural Resources Management Program
Presented by

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
HPARD Greenhouse
6501 Memorial Drive

Between E Memorial Loop Dr. & Crestwood


Touchdown Tours, Super Bowl Community Events

October 20, 2016 • Continue Reading »


The City of Houston is working with the Super Bowl host committee to bring the excitement of the game to the community. We are hosting 11 (9 remaining) Touchdown Tours throughout the city. The event is completely FREE and open to the public. You can find more information here:

Your opinion counts: What issues should the City focus on next year?

October 19, 2016 • Continue Reading »

In 2015, Houston’s City Council took the groundbreaking step of adopting the city’s first general plan, Plan Houston. The Plan describes a vision and goals for our community and identifies twelve core strategies that represent the City’s approach for achieving the vision. 
The City of Houston is now actively working towards achieving the community goals laid out in Plan Houston. The next step is to understand the community’s interests so that policy makers can consider them as they develop City priorities for the next budget year. The City’s next fiscal year begins July 1, 2017. You can share your thoughts on what the City should be focusing on by responding to a brief survey:     

Your input, coupled with Plan Houston’s strategic guidance, ensures that the City will use its limited resources in the most effective means possible to improve our community. The survey is open from October 14, 2016 through November 25, 2016. Call 832-393-6600 if you have questions or would like to request one or more paper copies of the survey.

Go to to learn more about the Plan Houston goals and strategies. 


YMCA: Upcoming Events

October 18, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Y Rewards – Houston Rockets Run

rockets-runJoin us on Saturday, November 5 for the 15th Annual Rockets Run presented by Memorial Hermann Health Insurance Co. benefiting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The 5K run, 2-mile walk and the Kids 1K starts at 7:30 am and goes around downtown Houston, ending on center court inside the Toyota Center. Then stay for the post-race party complete with food, drinks, activities and entertainment for the entire family!

Each participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a ticket for a Rockets game. Plus, Kids 1K participants will receive a medal. Save $5 per registration online by using discount code: YMCA.

Sign Up Now >>

Strengthening Families

kanuJoin us for YMCA Camp Cullen’s new Halloween Family Camp October 28-30 where there will be jack-o’-lanterns, hayrides and trick-or-treating for the whole family! You’ll also be able to enjoy the usual Family Camp activities, along with a few spooky extras.

Horseback riding is also available for an additional fee. The weekend includes lodging, four meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday; breakfast on Sunday). Kids 4 and under and adults 70+ are free.

Register Today >>

pink-bowHelping You Live Better

Work Out for Pink

It’s not too late to make healthy lifestyle improvements this month while working out in support of all those who have been affected by breast cancer.

With a $10 registration fee, you will receive a Work Out for Pink T-shirt, a tracking log and a donation card to honor a family member or friend.

Plus, $5 of every registration will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Learn More >>

Having Fun, Building Character

having-funFrom hoops to touchdowns, this winter is full of fun with YMCA Youth Sports. Sign your young athlete up for YMCA Youth Sports, and watch as their confidence grows as they learn about skill refinement, teamwork, and sportsmanship.

A new season of NFL flag football, volleyball, basketball and more starts this winter. Offerings vary by location.

Register Now >>

District K Celebrates Expanded Parking Lot of the South Gessner HPD Substation

October 18, 2016 • Continue Reading »

south-gessner-hpd-substationThis past August, Council Member Green, along with the South Gessner Substation police officers celebrated a long awaited event. “We are excited to FINALLY celebrate the ribbon cutting of the expanded parking lot of the South Gessner HPD Substation,” states Council Member Green.

Nearly 5 years ago, the South Gessner HPD Substation celebrated its grand opening as a new police station for Beat 17, which meanders from the Gulfton area to the greater Brays Oaks community. The facility opened in October 2011 with a total of 134 secured spaces for HPD assets and 9 public parking spaces located at the front of the station. As time progressed, there was indeed a need to expand the available parking spaces for this facility – both for HPD and the general public.

In July 2013, the City of Houston purchased 3.3 acres across the street along Westplace Dr. for the purpose of supplementing the needed parking. This expansion project will provide 113 additional parking spaces making a total of 247 secured parking spaces for HPD assets. The expanded lot will augment 29 additional public parking spaces, bringing the total to 38 spaces for the general public.

“Now that the City had acquired the property for the expanded parking lot, my job as the newly elected district council member was to secure funding to complete the project. This wasn’t an easy task, but I was able to secure a total of $1.3 million to appropriate for this project which was inclusive of design and construction costs.”

The key participants who played a vital role with this construction project included the Houston Police Dept., Design Team – BRAVE Architecture, General Contractor – P2MG, and the project managers of the General Services Dept.

Northfield I & II Protected By Minimum Lot Size Area Ordinance

October 18, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Earlier this summer, the Northfield I & II neighborhood was approved by City Council to establish a special minimum lot size area (MLSA) ordinance pursuant to Chapter 42 (City of Houston land development ordinance).

The Northfield I & II MLSA application submittal resulted in the Planning and Development Dept. and the Houston Planning Commission recommendation that City Council adopt an ordinance establishing a MLSA of 7,870 square feet for the 372 residential lots.

“The Northfield I & II HOA has worked extremely hard with their MLSA application to meet their minimum 55% threshold for approval,” states Council Member Green. “We still have a few more District K neighborhoods that need to apply for this special development tool in order to preserve the traditional character of their residential community.”

Willow Waterhole 1st Annual “Carpathon” Event

October 18, 2016 • Continue Reading »

carpathonLast month, the first annual invasive species “Carpathon” tournament was held at the Willow Waterhole Greenspace to remove invasive species from the Brays Bayou watershed. Over 100 fishermen of all ages signed up to participate.

I want to thank Howard Sacks, Chairman of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Houston, and Ralph Reiger, President of the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conversancy, for co-sponsoring this First Annual Brays Bayou Invasive Fish Round-Up and Carp-a-Thon event,” states Council Member Green.

Invasive species are a growing ecological and economic threat in the Houston area, as they are nationwide. These are species that have been introduced from ecosystems from other states, countries, and continents and have established so effectively that they are altering our ecosystems and impacting native species, often negatively.

This event was conceived by a coalition of local and state governments, angling clubs and non-profit agencies who have become increasingly concerned about the impact invasive fish species are having in the Houston-area waterways. It is only through community involvement, knowledge, and action that we have a hope of reducing these invaders’ impacts and preventing future invasive species. This event, and the groups that contributed to it, are firsts of their kind in Texas. They are laying the path towards improving aquatic and wetland habitats for everyone in Houston. This event’s goal was to not only remove invasive species from our waters through the fishing tournament, but to also educate the community about the threat of invasive species and bring everyone together to help preserve the waters that make Houston the Bayou City.

UPDATE – Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 16

October 17, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Tens of thousands of people from Florida to Virginia are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Matthew more than a week after it ravaged parts of the South after approaching Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane killing at least 43 people in the United States. As I write this 12 days after we opened the first evacuation center for Matthew, some hard-hit communities are now focused on rebuilding, while others are still responding to continued historic flooding. As the waters recede, our preliminary estimates indicate that Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina will be Level 5 operations and North Carolina will be a Level 6.

Before Hurricane Matthew, eastern North Carolina had already seen damaging flooding from heavy rainfall in the past month. With Matthew dumping 10 to 15 inches more inches of rain, the situation escalated into the worst flooding North Carolina has seen since Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In towns like Greenville and Goldsboro and Rocky Mount, in the eastern part of North Carolina, some rivers have crested at record-breaking levels, hemorrhaging water into streets and submerging entire blocks and businesses and homes like this one in Hope Mills near Fayetteville:


Unfortunately, neither the flooding nor the anguish is over: 7 rivers in North & South Carolina won’t come out of major flood stage for at least another 5 days, and at least one river—the Waccamaw River near Conway, South Carolina—was still rising this morning!


That’s why we still had over 2,000 evacuees in 30 shelters in North Carolina and 183 evacuees in 5 shelters in South Carolina this morning. Nearly two weeks after impact, we still have over 2,300 people in 37 shelters across 4 States, as you can see here on this screen shot from RC View (the blue pins with the letter “S” are current open shelters):

As folks return to their neighborhoods, many are finding scenes like this one in Edison Beach, South Carolina—tons (literally) of debris, destroyed homes, and a long recovery ahead.


As Matthew was bearing down on the Carolinas, the Yates family (pictured below) evacuated to Dillon, South Carolina from Columbia, South Carolina by bus. “The bus was swaying with the wind and rain, and we had to dodge a pole,” said Nettia Yates, recounting the trip she made during the hurricane. At one point, said Ms. Yates, “the water was almost up to the windows.” Ms. Yates couldn’t get in touch with anyone as she finally got off the bus, and was stranded outside a closed storefront in the storm. As Ms. Yates said, “A policeman came and asked if I was Ok. I said ‘No. I’m cold, I’m hungry and scared. He says, ‘Ma’am, would you be comfortable going to the Red Cross shelter?’ And then it was better.” She smiled.


In the past 12 days, we’ve assigned and fielded nearly 5,000 Red Cross responders to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina to help thousands of people like the Yates’. This morning in hard hit North Carolina alone, where damage assessment is just beginning and many areas remain inaccessible, we have nearly 2,000 Red Crossers providing shelter, food, and comfort. We have another 800+ responders in South Carolina, where preliminary damage assessments suggest that Matthew destroyed or caused major damage to over 3,700 homes.

It’s a worth a minute to put those staffing numbers into context, especially on the heels of major disasters in West Virginia and Louisiana over the past few months. Last year, between July 1 and October 13, we made 6,873 assignments to the field. This year, in the same period, we made 15,632 assignments to the field! That’s 127% more assignments than during the same period last year. The numbers below paint part of the picture of our intense operational tempo for Matthew—so, in the past 12 days, Red Crossers:

· Opened 374 shelters and provided over 90,000 shelter overnight stays
· Served over 750,000 meals and snacks through over 150 fixed and mobile feeding sites
· Staffed over 100 Emergency Operations Centers across 5 States
· Deployed 266 ERVs, including 2/3rds of the National ERV Fleet
· Provided over 135,000 bulk relief items, including over 3,500 clean up kits
· Received over 800 Safe & Well registrations
· Made over 16,000 disaster health and mental health contacts
· Recruited over 2,100 event-based volunteers (that’s incredible—kudos to VP Matt Bertram and his team over 90 deployed volunteer services staff for setting the gold standard even as they’re building new and better processed to support operations)

As always, the Red Cross is part of a larger community of interest serving disaster survivors across the impacted States. First, the Canadian Red Cross responded to our urgent request for assistance by sending staff to help us with critical unmet needs in analysis and logistics, and over 5,000 clean up kits to help offset the overwhelming and immediate demand on our inventory. As you may recall, we recently supported the Canadian Red Cross in their response to the devastating and massive fires in western Canada, and now we are so very grateful to CRC for returning the favor. Speaking of clean up kits and fires, one of the two tractor trailer loads of clean up kits the CRC sent us caught fire en route, which destroyed most of the product. But that didn’t deter the CRC: the sent us replacement clean up kits from another warehouse almost immediately upon receiving the report about the truck catching fire. Really—you can’t make this stuff up. J Staying with partners and clean up kits for one more moment: Enterprise Holdings generously contributed $150,000 so that we could purchase comfort kits and cleanup kits for Hurricane Matthew, including restocking our warehouses since we’ve dramatically depleted our supplies for Hurricane Matthew.

Among other valued partners actively engaged in responding to Matthew alongside us includes:

· Southern Baptists are providing and staffing 13 mobile kitchens with a total feeding capacity of 255,000 meals per day
· AmeriCorps NCCC has sent four teams consisting of 33 people to Georgia and South Carolina to support ARC relief operations
· Buddhist Tzu Chi is providing financial resources
· DOVES has deployed 20 volunteer to North Carolina in support of reunification
· Feeding America has accepted an in-kind donation from ARC to support food banks serving North Carolina
· Islamic Relief USA is supporting sheltering in Florida and North Carolina
· Jet Blue sent 7 volunteers to Florida
· Lott Carey/National Baptist of America is providing leadership resources to support our efforts with faith-based community

Here you can see Southern Baptist and Red Cross volunteers working together to prepare and distribute food at the Cedar Falls Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.


We’re going to be operating in the Carolinas for weeks to come. We’ll keep you posted, but before we leave Matthew, here’s an amazing moment that occurred Saturday on our Georgia operation. Long-time ARC volunteer Dan Chandler (our out-going Assistant Director of Operations Ops) from Alabama and an owner of multiple businesses and non-profits in 5 countries made an incredibly generous donation to his home Region. His stated reason: the superb and effective leadership of NHQ Senior Director for Operations Virginia Mewborn—currently deployed to Georgia as the Deputy Director of Relief Operations. Confirming what you already knew to be true, Virginia and her team are doing amazing work there—as are so many other dedicated leaders across the Matthew theater of operations.

Come and Join us for free health screening! 2016 Raindrop Health Fair!

October 14, 2016 • Continue Reading »


2016 Raindrop Health Fair!

Come and Join us for free health screening!
The Raindrop Foundation, in collaboration with US Congressman Al Green’s office and Community Health Choice, would like to cordially invite you to our 2016 Annual Health Fair.

Date & Time
Saturday, October 22, 2016
10am – 1pm

Raindrop Turkish House
9301 West Bellfort Ave.
Houston, TX 77031

Information & Screening Services

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain critical information regarding up-to-date health facts and tips.

Free Screenings to include:
Blood Pressure Check
HIV screening
Glucose check
Eye care for kids

Free Health Resources to include:
Dental Information
MD Anderson Cancer center
Community Assistance Program
Free flu shots to first 100

Application Assistance to include:
Medicaid and chip
Renewal and Certification Help
(Please bring a copy of your current check stub, your child’s birth certificate, and social security card)
Information from Bilingual Speech

Back pack and Bike give away!

Enjoy watching last year’s program: