Mayor’s Workplace Push Launch

Mayor Turner Launches the Bethune Empowerment Center Revitalization Venture and Announces Communities for Far better Health as its Initially Tenant

August 10, 2021 — On Saturday, August 7, Mayor Sylvester Turner introduced the official start of the Bethune Empowerment Center in Acres Household and its initial tenant, Communities for Better Well being.

This 8-acre tract of land previously served as the Bethune Academy Elementary University and will now be repurposed as a small business incubator and vocational entity for the Acres Household community. The Bethune Empowerment Middle will deliver Houstonians with access to top quality companies and amenities, such as job schooling, apprenticeships, ability-making services, modest business enterprise resources, co-doing work areas, and business incubators.

The thought for the Bethune Empowerment Centre originated from the Acres Home Complete Community Action Strategy (.pdf), in which the Acres Property neighborhood strongly indicated the need to repurpose and revitalize the Bethune Academy.

The Total Communities Initiative, launched by Mayor Turner in April 2017, is focused on improving neighborhoods that have historically been underserved and less than-resourced. The initiative’s goal is to progress fairness and entice investments in the communities while ensuring that latest inhabitants can continue being in affordable residences.

“The Acres Dwelling neighborhood has spoken, and we have listened,” Mayor Turner said. “The perform for this center is just beginning, and the upcoming additions will condition the Bethune Empowerment Centre into a beacon of equitable financial enhancement and enhanced general public health and fitness.”

The facility secured in excess of $4.5 million for renovations. In February 2021, the City Council allocated a $4.1 million group development block grant (CDBG) to rehabilitate the first stage of building and approved Houston Enterprise Advancement, Inc (HBDI) to renovate, function, and take care of the Bethune Empowerment Middle.

“Jobs like the Bethune Empowerment Centre embody our mission at Houston Business enterprise Advancement, Inc.,” mentioned HBDI President Marlon Mitchell. “We goal to foster financial advancement in Houston, and the services to appear at the Bethune Empowerment Heart will present means for Acres Residence businesses and personal industry experts to develop and thrive.”

Mayor Turner also declared a $500,000 donation from Reliant Power to help the Bethune Empowerment Centre and its initially tenant, Communities for Better Health (CFBH). Communities for Improved Wellness.

“At Reliant, we are dedicated to powering improve in the communities where by we reside and function by supporting impactful jobs like Bethune Empowerment Heart,” mentioned Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant. “By tapping the strengths of our neighborhood associates, nonprofits, corporations, and philanthropic associates, alongside one another, we can establish a more robust and much more resilient town for foreseeable future generations.”

Bethune Empowerment Center Photo 2

Communities for Better Wellbeing will also obtain funding from Amerigroup to develop a Supplemental Nutrition Guidance Program (SNAP) double-up method that will empower SNAP-suitable families to double their advantages and assist the nearby community farm.

The Supplemental Diet Assistance Program (SNAP) presents economical assistance to suitable minimal-revenue folks and households to buy meals. Below the SNAP Double Up Bucks system, CFBH will match $30 of SNAP buys expended on fruits and vegetables. This software encourages citizens to invest in regionally developed farm-contemporary make and gives foods access to the Bethune Empowerment Center’s community backyard garden.

“This critical new useful resource will make generate significantly additional accessible to the men and women of Acres House,” Mayor Turner stated. “It will help individuals are living much healthier lives, guidance community enterprise proprietors, and strengthen the community.”

“Better overall health is about so significantly more than wellness care,” claimed Greg Thompson, President and CEO of Amerigroup Texas, a person of the state’s main Medicaid administrators. “We want to aid our customers get balanced, continue to be nutritious, and take pleasure in the working day-to-working day well being that allows them are living their lives.”

CFBH will host cooking demonstrations, regular monthly gardening lessons, and the Black Farmer Box community-supported agriculture (CSA) plan in partnership with Ivy Leaf Farms and Fresh Everyday living Organics (FLO), a multi-acre farm, and land administration consulting enterprise in Houston.

“This group does not get healthy food for granted,” said Kristin Bennett, founder and CEO of Communities for Greater Health. “Means like this neighborhood yard and farmer’s industry provide people today an crucial outlet for the food items and actions they want to help their people continue to be healthy.”

“Alter can be tough, but at times it can direct to good transformation – to a little something good and fruitful – one thing that will be a source for the Acres Dwelling Community. It is amazing that while Bethune no extended serves as a university creating, it will be ready to fairly actually put down new roots in this local community and uplift it.”

The Bethune Empowerment Middle will consist of 10 properties renovated in three phases. Period 1, comprising approximately 29,000 square ft, incorporates the renovation of the cafeteria constructing into a industrial kitchen place and function house that will allow for business enterprise growth, agricultural coaching, certification, and other culinary arts programming.

The remainder of Phase 1 will include a neighborhood backyard garden and numerous workspaces, together with for-lease offices, meeting rooms, administrative place of work area, breakroom areas, collaborative operating areas, and assistance/circulation spaces.

Development for Section 1 will be complete by the conclusion of 2021. Phase 2 and 3 will contain supplemental places of work for the enterprise incubators, school rooms, early childhood daycare/just after-school treatment, and meeting rooms.

The Bethune Empowerment Centre Sowing Seeds community yard formally opened at the local community celebration on Saturday and will deliver gardening education and learning and contemporary develop solutions for the neighborhood by means of pop-up retailers. The community yard will also be the new locale for the Acres Houses Farmers Current market. The Acres Property Farmer’s Market is hosted bi-weekly at the Bethune Empowerment Middle facility on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

“Acres Home is a superb community. We work really hard and acquire care of each and every other. But there is no query that we will need far more means,” claimed Dr. Donna “Cee” Whitelow, a longtime resident and community chief. “This backyard garden is very long overdue, and I can not wait around to just take advantage of having it here.”

For extra details on the Bethune Empowerment Heart, visit

Bethune Empowerment Center Photo 3

About Total Communities
Complete Communities, released by Mayor Turner in April 2017, commenced in 5 neighborhoods – Acres Property, Gulfton, In close proximity to Northside, Second Ward, and Third Ward. In August 2018, Metropolis Council of Houston (Metropolis) accepted five specific Finish Communities Action Designs for the pilot neighborhoods. In March 2019, the Mayor’s Business office of Complete Communities (MOCC) was opened with philanthropic assist. In June 2019, the initiative expanded to 5 extra neighborhoods – Alief-Westwood, Fort Bend Houston, Kashmere Gardens, Magnolia Park-Manchester, and Sunnyside.

About Reliant
Reliant powers, protects and simplifies existence by bringing electric power, security and related providers to houses and businesses across Texas. Serving customers and the community is at the core of what we do, and the organization is regarded nationally for excellent shopper practical experience. Reliant is component of NRG, a Fortune 500 corporation that results in worth by generating electric power and giving vitality options to almost 6 million residential, compact business enterprise and business customers across the U.S. and Canada. NRG’s competitive residential electric power enterprise, which contains Reliant, is just one of the most significant in the country.

About Communities for Far better Wellness
Communities for Better Overall health (CFBH) is a women-led, African-American led nonprofit group in the Houston spot. CFBH was started in 2018 with a mission to enhance health outcomes by selling wellness equity and addressing social and environmental situations in susceptible communities. CFBH is the mum or dad corporation for the Acres Home Wellbeing Motion Workforce (AHHAT) developed in 2019 by the Metropolis of Houston to oversee the implementation of well being-related jobs in the Acres Property Finish Communities Action System Acres Residence Farmer’s Sector.

About Amerigroup Texas 
Amerigroup Texas will help increase overall health treatment obtain and top quality for around 850,000 Texans by acquiring progressive treatment management courses and solutions. Users are confident care that is not only available, but also accountable, comprehensive, built-in and patient-centered. Amerigroup Texas gives ongoing local community relations and outreach to really encourage members to turn into energetic individuals in their well being care. Via well being education and learning systems, associates are empowered to pick out and maintain a balanced lifestyle. For more details about Amerigroup Texas, visit

About the Acres Households Farmers Sector
The Acres Home Farmer’s Market place was established to convene the community’s farmers and gardeners to leverage locally developed meals sources in neighborhoods that face disparaging foodstuff insecurity. The current market also targets local leaders to enable strengthen the health and fitness of the young children and family members in the Acres Home Neighborhood.

About HBDI
HBDI is a accredited Local community Improvement Economical Institution and a Local community Enhancement Organization Business that has served Houston for 30 years, providing modest organizations with accessibility to cost-effective loans, specialized help, and company counseling solutions.