Health Department Knocks On Doors In Low Income Houston Neighborhood

Teams from the City of Houston's Health Department are spending the next couple of days in a low-income neighborhood on the city's southwest side. They're part of a unique effort to spread the word about health services that some residents don't even know about.

At the Villa Madrid apartment complex near Beechnut and the West Belt in an area known as the Westwood Super Neighborhood, dozens of employees from the Houston Health Department are knocking on doors, making face-to-face
contact with residents who can’t afford traditional health care. They hope to reach more than 7,000 in just two days. Porfirio Villarreal is with the Health Department.

“A lot of times we find people who live here and they do not know what’s in their neighborhood, agencies that they can access, services that they can take advantage of because the qualify. And what we’re going to do is find their immediate needs.”

He says the information the Health Department collects can be valuable as community leaders look for ways to make things better.

“Later we get with the community leaders and help them kind of mobilize them and help them talk to each other, that way they let us know what service is missing and what services need to be here. So it’s a constant feedback that we get after we leave.”

Celina Garza Ridge was part of the team at the apartment complex.

“It allows us to really put together a document that explains for that specific neighborhood what the statistics are in terms
of demographics, in terms of economics, and it also helps other agencies understand parts of Houston that may need their services.”

This is the 9th door-to-door effort over the past couple of years in various low income areas in Houston. A benefits expo is set for Saturday at the Higher Dimension Church on Bissonnet.  


Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is an executive producer of special projects working on station-wide, multi-platform initiatives such as DiverseCity. At Houston Public Media, Edel started as a reporter covering veteran issues and the quirkier side of life in Houston. Before her time in public radio she worked for local commercial station Cox as an on...

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