HOUSTON - A new initiative is being launched in Houston to help connect residents with jobs.
The goal is to not only bring employment to the Northeast Houston area but also a grocery store, and a community swimming pool, ultimately building a family-friendly, safe environment that residents can enjoy and be proud of.
"I went to school in Humble. I raised my kids in Greenspoint and spent a lot of time in Fifth Ward. So I’m anchored in District B," says Houston City Council Member Tarsha Jackson who was born in Acres Homes.
The Councilwoman has known for a long time what District B needs, long before she represented the area and was simply a resident. For that reason, she created the BeSuccessful Initiative, which includes dozens of mentors to work with at risk youth in the area and job coordinators for the adults.
"Organizations such as Amazon, Houston Airport System, I connect them with the people," explains one of the BeSuccessful Job Coordinators Shunte Deckard, who was also raised in Northeast Houston.
"I was once in poverty. I was once unemployed for quite some time and once I got a job it was like oh you just really enjoy paying your bills," Jackson smiles. Now she’s hoping to create that for residents in District B, which stretches from Greenspoint, Humble, Fifth Ward, Acres Homes, and beyond.
"Watching the community, the neighborhoods crumble with lack of investment it just hurt my heart," Jackson adds.
"The need here is basically jobs. This area is mostly a poverty area. The majority of the people who live here are making under $25,000 a year," Deckard explains. "It’s very heartwarming to be a part of this. When I was a kid I went swimming all the time at Tidwell Park. The pool is all drained out now and a part of the BeSuccessful initiative we are going to renovate that pool."
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"I can believe that statistic because I was part of that statistic. You hate to see the inequity, but you love to see the urgency that’s happening right here and right now," adds Acres Homes resident Rain Eatmon.
"It’s very heartwarming to be a part of this. When I was a kid I went swimming all the time at Tidwell Park. The pool is all drained out now and a part of the BeSuccessful initiative we are going to renovate that pool," explains Deckard.
The new effort is designed to not only address poverty but also the dilapidated conditions and the food desert. Councilwoman Jackson hopes a major grocery store will move into a plaza on Homestead Road that has sat vacant for more than 25 years now.
Another big goal is to ultimately reduce crime.
"If you’re working you’re not out robbing anybody because now you have an income and in our district, a large percentage of the constituents have criminal records. So this initiative also entails second chance jobs," says Jackson.
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"To see a program like this that’s going to focus less on survival and more on thriving it's such a breath of fresh air, and it's something I think is really going to color District B in a different way," adds Eatmon.
Councilwoman Jackson is officially announcing the initiative and exactly how it will work tomorrow and BeSuccessful is launching Saturday with a big job fair at HCC North Forest, 6010 Little York Road from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.