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Houston Health Department Knocks On 8,000 Doors To Help Residents

The city of Houston has been deploying teams into the city’s neighborhoods for the last decade to distribute community resources and survey residents.

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Kalicia Minor and Daniel Perez with the Houston Health Department knock on a door in a northwest Houston neighborhood.
Kalicia Minor and Daniel Perez with the Houston Health Department knock on a door in a northwest Houston neighborhood.

More than 200 employees from the city's Health Department walk through Houston's neighborhoods twice a year to hand out booklets with city resources.

That includes information on the Zika virus, family planning and phone numbers for health and housing assistance or how to report potholes, for example.

The Health Department's Porfirio Villarreal said the program also helps the city.

"We make sure that we get information as, like, what type of services they need, what exactly they're seeing in their community," he said. "And that helps us make sure we plan correctly for future programs."

And sometimes, the city employees turn out to be first responders.

On Thursday, they went to an apartment and found a senior woman who had been lying on her bathroom floor for more than a day.

Kalicia Minor said they quickly got help.

"Had we not gone, no one would have known that she was there," she said.

The woman was dehydrated but other than that was OK, Minor said.

City employees are visiting about 8,000 homes between May 5 and 7.

230 employees with the Houston Health Department are going door to door to pass out information on city resources.
230 employees with the Houston Health Department are going door to door to pass out information on city resources.

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