BeSuccessful initiative launched to connect Houston residents with jobs

Houston is launching a new initiative to connect residents with jobs.

The goal is not only to bring jobs to Northeast Houston, but also to create a grocery store and a community swimming pool, ultimately creating a family-friendly, safe environment for residents to enjoy and be proud of.

“I went to school in Humble. I raised my children in Greenspoint and spent a lot of time in Fifth Ward. So I’m anchored in District B,” says Houston City Council member Tarsha Jackson, who was born in Acres Homes.

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The city councilwoman has known what district B needs for a long time, long before she represented the district and was just a resident. That’s why she created the BeSuccessful initiative, which includes dozens of mentors working with at-risk youth in the area, as well as careers coordinators for the adults.

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“Organizations like Amazon, Houston Airport System, I connect them to people,” explains Shunte Deckard, one of BeSuccessful’s job coordinators, who also grew up in northeast Houston.

“I was once in poverty. I was unemployed for a while and when I got a job it was like you really wanted to pay your bills,” smiles Jackson. Now she hopes to make that possible for residents of District B, which stretches from Greenspoint, Humble, Fifth Ward, Acres Homes and beyond.

“It just breaks my heart to see the community collapse from lack of investment,” Jackson adds.

“The main jobs are needed here. This area is largely a slum area. The majority of people who live here make less than $25,000 a year,” Deckard explains. “It’s very heartwarming to be a part of it. When I was a kid I used to swim at Tidwell Park all the time. The pool is now completely empty and as part of the BeSuccessful initiative we will be renovating this pool.”

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“I can believe that statistic because I was part of that statistic. You hate seeing the injustice, but you love seeing the urgency that is happening right here and now,” adds Rain Eatmon of Acres Homes.

“It’s very heartwarming to be a part of it. When I was a kid I used to swim at Tidwell Park all the time. The pool is now completely empty and as part of the BeSuccessful initiative we will be renovating this pool,” he explains to Deckard.

The new effort aims to tackle not only poverty, but also degraded conditions and the food desert. Councilwoman Jackson hopes a large grocery store will move to a space on Homestead Road that has been empty for more than 25 years.

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Another major goal is to ultimately reduce crime.

“If you work, you don’t rob anyone because you now have an income and a large percentage of voters in our district have criminal records. So this initiative also includes second chance jobs,” says Jackson.

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“Seeing a program like this that’s less focused on surviving and more focused on thriving is such a breath of fresh air, and I think it’s going to really color District B in a different way,” adds Eatmon.

Councilwoman Jackson formally announces the initiative and exactly how it will work tomorrow, and BeSuccessful kicks off Saturday with a major job fair at HCC North Forest, 6010 Little York Road from 10am to 2pm