One For All Newsletter: February 2023

28 Feb, 23

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Need to use a screen reader or translate the text into another language? Below is the text in this issue of the OFA.

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Message From Your Commissioner

Dear Friends,
This new year brings new opportunities to work together to build a more resilient, thriving Harris County. Over the past few years, our resolve and resilience have been tested like never before. We faced extremist attacks on democracy, a coordinated effort to roll back hard-won rights, and a devastating pandemic that worsened and widened the racial, social, economic, and gender disparities that existed long before Covid-19. The pandemic unleashed challenges and heartbreaking loss, but it also opened the opportunity to right the wrongs caused by discrimination, inequality, and neglect that it brought to the forefront. 
This past year, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Harris County made vital, equitable investments to assist families; created job training programs; increased access to housing; supported small businesses; and made communities safer and healthier. These investments are a transformative step toward a safer, happier, and healthier Harris County. 
We’re just getting started. We cannot return to a pre-pandemic Harris County, where families struggled to get ahead in communities that were left behind. Instead, we must work toward realizing a vision for Harris County, where people are connected to resources and opportunities that help them build a better life, and every community has what it needs to thrive. 
It’s a new year and a new day in Harris County. It will take all of us working together to make this shared vision a reality. You can learn more about this  work throughout these pages. As always, it’s a privilege to serve.

Rodney Ellis

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It's a New Day in Harris County
County leadership’s commitment to a safe, healthy, and resilient Harris County

Harris County leadership must work together to address the long unmet needs and serious challenges facing our communities. The first meeting of Harris County Commissioners Court on January 10 marked a new day for county government. Commissioner Lesley Briones joined Commissioners Court as the first woman and Latina to represent Precinct 4. Precinct One looks forward to working with all members of Commissioners Court and county leaders to build on the progress that’s been made to ensure everyone—no matter who they are or where they live—has a fair chance in Harris County.  

Making Progress in 2023
At the first meeting of the year, Commissioners Court took action to:

  • Fight climate change with a plan to reduce the county’s carbon pollution and emissions
  • Prioritize flood infrastructure projects with a framework based on need and equity
  • Expand safety requirements on county contracts to better protect workers
  • Develop an outreach program to improve maternal and infant health in Harris County

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Our Vision, Our Future

Harris County and Precinct One will build on the progress and investments made in 2022 to make sure every person and every family has what they need to build wealth, stay healthy, and live in a safe, vibrant, and thriving community. Precinct One is working toward a Harris County where:
  • People are connected to economic opportunity on a level playing field;
  • People have access to affordable care, and health disparities are reduced;
  • Families have the support and resources they need to thrive;
  • Homes are safe, affordable, and available;
  • Neighborhoods are protected from pollution, flooding, and climate change;
  • Communities are safe from the threat of violence, the harms of neglect, and the crushing weight of inequality. 

Every day, we’ll work hard to make this vision the future of Harris County. To keep up with our progress, provide feedback, and learn more about specific programs visit

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Safe and Healthy Communities

Neighborhoods across the county should be healthy and safe places to live, work, and thrive. Harris County is working on several initiatives to make our neighborhoods and communities healthier and safer:

  • Public Safety: Harris County is expanding the public safety toolkit by sustaining support for traditional law enforcement while developing new initiatives that make our neighborhoods healthier and safer. 
  • Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods: The county is cleaning up areas that have long been neglected and installing street lighting, cleaning vacant lots, and creating common spaces. As part of this effort, Harris County Public Health will clean approximately 1,100 nuisance properties over the next several years.  
  • Environmental Protection: The county is fighting climate change, toxic pollution, and the legacy of environmental injustice through increased air monitoring, lead abatement, climate action, and legal action against polluters like Union Pacific in Fifth Ward.
  • Community Violence Interruption Program: Harris County Public Health’s violence interruption program works with trusted and trained community messengers to prevent violence in high-risk areas by helping community members exit gangs, find jobs, and receive support for mental health and substance use.
  • Holistic Assistance Response Team: Harris County Public Health’s initiative improves community safety by sending trained first responders to non-emergency 911 calls about mental health, substance use, and homelessness. This frees up law enforcement resources and connects people to resources that help prevent future non-emergency calls to 911. 
  • Harris County Healthy Food Financing Initiative: The county is fighting food deserts in under-resourced neighborhoods and working to ensure all Harris County residents have access to nutritious food with this investment.
  • Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities: Harris County is collaborating with the Harris Center for Mental Health to create community wellness and resiliency programs in areas where mental health resources are needed.

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Precinct One community centers are here to serve you and your family. Our centers and programs play a vital role in fostering community and providing opportunities for residents of all ages to learn new skills, improve their health and well-being, and enjoy enriching activities.

  • Senior Programs: Precinct One senior programs provide fitness classes with a wide range of options, computer and financial literacy courses, special events, and enriching activities for the mind, body, and soul.
  • Youth Programs: Precinct One afterschool and summer youth programs provide academic support, opportunities for enrichment and skill building, health and wellness activities, and healthy nutrition to the youngest members of our community.
  • Adult and Family Programs: Precinct One adult and family programs provide residents with activities and resources for education and employment support, behavioral and emotional health, and recreation and fitness.
Each community center is different, but there is something for everyone. Visit or call a center today.

Here’s to a healthy you in the New Year!
To learn more about the programs, fitness activities, and health resources offered at our community centers, visit

Back Cover

Gun Buyback Initiative

Everyone deserves to be safe in their home, school, and community — free from the threat of gun violence. We’re taking action in Harris County. Harris County’s Gun Buyback program is part of our efforts to keep our communities safe.   

Harris County Services: