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Independence Heights

Our Story: Becoming a GO Neighborhoods Pilot

December 24, 2012 | By independenceheights

We, Independence Heights, have been on the path of comprehensive community development since 2007, so when LISC presented the GO Neighborhoods Challenge, we were excited to further our endeavors to mobilize the community towards shared goals and shared efforts. Our efforts began in 2007 when Motherland Inc., Independence Heights Redevelopment Council, Houston Hope, Neighborhood Centers, and the City of Houston Health and Human Services department worked together to develop a comprehensive assessment tool of the neighborhood.

Our commitment to the sustainable communities process is not only important, it is imperative to the sustainability and survival of the community for our ancestors and future generations. More than eighty people representing all ages, ethnicities and occupations supported and participated in the planning of the GO Neighborhoods Challenge Project- demonstrating our commitment.

Engaging the community has always been a top priority for Independence Heights as the community was built on a history of people working together in unity to make change. From organizing residents and establishing its own independent municipality 100 years ago to organizing the community into Community Councils over the past year, our ability to get people involved is almost second nature.

As part the Neighborhood Challenge, we were tasked to organize and collaborate with as many stakeholders in our neighborhood as possible and to also come to a consensus on a project that reflects one of the many priorities for our community. During the LISC Neighborhood Challenge, Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area and devastated the Independence Heights community. Residents, businesses, and other leaders rallied around the emergency preparedness issue in response to the Hurricane’s effects.

With the people rallied and with a consensus on the project issue, we began work on our project with door to door registration of families and distribution of laminated information cards identifying the pre-planned distribution centers closest to each resident’s home.

For information about how you can get engaged in the Independence Heights GO Neighborhoods initiative, please contact Tanya Debose, President, Independence Heights Redevelopment Council at tanyad@go-neighborhoods.org