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Houston Mayor, Council Members Spread Thanksgiving Joy To Formerly Homeless

The number of people living on the streets of Houston has been dropping.
One reason is what the city’s mayor saw first-hand when he helped serve a Thanksgiving meal.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and council members Mike Knox, Brenda Stardig, Karla Cisneros, Greg Travis, Amanda Edwards and Mike Laster (from left) serve turkey and sides to resident of New Hope Housing's Rittenhouse complex near Acres Homes.
Mayor Sylvester Turner and council members Mike Knox, Brenda Stardig, Karla Cisneros, Greg Travis, Amanda Edwards and Mike Laster (from left) serve turkey and sides to resident of New Hope Housing’s Rittenhouse complex near Acres Homes.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and several city council members put on aprons and, in the mayor's case, a chef's hat and served Thanksgiving meals to residents of New Hope Housing's "Rittenhouse" complex on Houston's Northside.

"It was really special, our mayor coming out here waiting on us, serving on us," said San Juana Macek, who has lived at Rittenhouse for close to three years.

Before that she stayed at a shelter after living out of her car on a Walmart parking lot. She loves having her own efficiency apartment with a kitchenette, and she gets lots of help here.

"Working with my case manager and counselors and making appointments and seeing my doctors, different doctors," she said. "And taking care of my diabetes, getting assistance for my hearing impairment."

Macek said she has been approved for low-income housing assistance and wants to move to a bigger place with a real kitchen and grocery stores in walking distance, preferably in the Heights.

Mayor Turner said serving lunch to people like Macek makes him happy.

"No matter how bad you may think you have it there are people who have it even worse," he said. "But the good news is these were people that were formerly on the streets, they were formerly homeless. Today because they are in a housing unit, where there's a roof over their head, their spirits are enhanced."

The seven New Hope Housing centers across Houston are only for single adults, but the nonprofit is currently building a complex for low-income families.

 

 

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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