Great Plans on the Horizon for Alief
|Francisco Garcia, Charhonda Cox, Coucilman Richard Nguyen, Greg Ruffner, and Alvin Byrd|
Texans Together Executive Director Charhonda Cox and Program Director Francisco Garcia, had a great meeting last Thursday with Glen Ruffner of the Falls of Bellaire Apartments, Councilman Richard Nguyen, and his Chief of Staff Alvin Byrd. The meeting was high energy with a lot of exciting things on the horizon in Alief!
Back in January, The Mai Apartments purchased the property. The name was changed to the Falls of Bellaire and with a change in management came a change in name and some uncertainty for the Resident’s resource Center. Since 2009, Texans Together’s Apartments Are Communities had a Resource Source Center in the apartments. The residents used the tools that they had learned from the resource center and working with Texans Together and built a community that succeeded in coming together to build a playground, gathered 200 signatures to have the city close a hazardous street , improved and repaired lighting, partnered with community groups to provide activities to at risk children, built a communal garden and became activists in the larger Alief community in projects like improving the library and multi-service center. But with the change, the Resource Center activities were put on hold.
Due to our relationship with Councilman Richard Nguyen and the former management of the Mai Apartments, Glen Ruffner sat down with us and reviewed the Resource Center and the Apartments Are Communities project. It was great to review the important achievements of the Resource Center and see the value that had been added to the community and the residents. Mr. Ruffner was excited to see how Residents had worked together and developed pride in their community. By the end of the meeting, plans were made to re-vamp a fresh new Resource Center with a great deal of support from the new owners, existing and new residents, and of course the support of Councilman Nyguen’s office with his Chief of Staff Alvin Byrd joining our communities exciting activities!
In March, we’ll be having a Spring Cleaning with the residents at the newly named Falls at Bellaire Apartments. The Resource Center will get a facelift with new paint, thorough cleaning, and spruced up furniture. Plus, the search will be on for a new Resident coordinator to be there to help organize activities, volunteers, and afterschool activities.
After all that work, we’ll celebrate in April with a Grand Reopening! The Resource Coordinator and the activities that will be available through the Resource will be introduced to the community. There will be afterschool activities, homework help, computer lab and services for adults like resume building, job seeking help, and social services referrals.
We can’t wait to start working with the Falls of Bellaire Apartments and it is going to be a great beginning for the rest of the year in an active year in Alief with community meetings, collaborating with Spice Lane residents to develop their community resources, Prodigal Son Church to develop their community building skills and outreach, partnership with Alief Independent School District to bring EHL to students. And all that… just a start to a great year in Alief!