Month: November 2012

Houston Texas Social Services No Greater Than Their Accessibility

City social services are no greater than their accessibility. It`s one thing to have established social services but what good are they if the user is unable to obtain the vital information or know-how when attempting to access them? This is an issue that is lacking not only in Houston, but most everywhere. In most major cities, there is a homeless shelter available. But, it is not widely known by those outside the homeless community or considered an acceptable option for those who are not homeless. There is a stigma associated with it, and has the ability to haunt the homeowner or renter who is not there just yet but still desires and qualifies for a range of pantry (and other services) available to them in hopes they may not end up there soon; similar to a doctor treating the ailment and not just the fever. There you have one established method of seeking help in addition to a barrier preventing a majority of its users seeking that resource. Fortunately this population of users in need can still seek help through the internet? However, “Googling` Houston, TX Social Services” did not provide a robust selection of links to any viable or easily assessed social service resources. Is this to say that Houston is lacking in the social sector of providing for its citizens? “Of course not. What it does...

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Black Friday Turns into Bless Friday®

Since 2010, Houston area churches and Christian organizations have provided an alternative to frenzied Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Continuing this tradition, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC), Beacon of Light Christian Center, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, are each scheduling community service projects on Friday, November 23. These churches ask families and individuals to celebrate Bless Friday® as an alternative to Black Friday. This year for the first time groups of Christians in Austin, Texas will join in Bless Friday activities. They plan to package food for use by the needy. Other Houstonians are also taking the new tradition with them as they travel and are serving Christ at organizations such as Star of the Sea Outreach Mission food bank in Key West, Florida. Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday, states, “I am excited that Bless Friday expanded geographically in its third year. People get our message that when we focus too much on buying things, we lose sight of the real reason for Christmas — remembering and honoring Christ. We want to begin our Christmas celebration by serving others just as Jesus did.” Dave Peterson, Sr. Pastor at MDPC states, “We want people to reconnect to the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I am especially gratified when children are involved. It changes how they view the season.” MDPC congregants are...

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Business Profile: Houston Attorney Yolanda Buckner

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln Education, Ethics and Excellence are three words that describe Houston Attorney Yolanda Buckner. At a very young age, Buckner knew that she wanted to be a problem solver. She valued the importance of Education and made sure that anything beneath a...

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A Closer Look at Social Services in Austin, Texas

Webster`s Dictionary defines a social service as: an activity designated to promote social well-being; specifically: organized philanthropic assistance (as of the disable or disadvantaged) “. A more concise meaning can be found in the Encyclopedia: Any of various professional activates or methods concerned with providing social services (such as investigatory and treatment services or material aid) to disadvantages, distressed, or vulnerable persons or groups. The field originated in the charity organizations in Europe and the U.S. in the late 19th century. The training of volunteer workers by these organizations led directly to the founding of the first schools of social work and indirectly to increased government responsibility for the welfare of the disadvantaged. Social service providers may serve the needs of children and families, the poor or homeless, immigrants, veterans, the mentally ill, and the handicapped, victims of rape or domestic violence, and person dependent on alcohol or drugs. ” (Social Service) It should not be news to anyone that social services have been and remain to be an important platform for the Democratic Party; as well as a major disinclination for the opposing Republican Party. It also shouldn`t be a news flash to anyone actively following the Texas political landscape that the Austin voting population remains more Democrat than Republican. This should be indicative of a wealth of social services and resources available to the disadvantaged population of...

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758-megawatt Sherman, Texas Power Plant Breaks Ground

• Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse arranged debt financing • Plant to come online in late 2014 when ERCOT has projected a need for reserve power • One of the nation’s first “quick start” plants will help support intermittent renewable generation • Will contribute up to $1.7 billion in economic development and create 700-800 construction jobs • Bechtel and Siemens turn-key construction consortium to build plant Panda Power Funds was joined today by officials from across the Lone Star State to break ground on the company’s 758-megawatt natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Sherman, Texas. When complete, the facility will provide much needed electricity for approximately 750,000 homes in the North Texas region. “For the second time in four months, our team has stepped up to the plate and swung for the bleachers,” said Todd Carter, president of Panda Power Funds. “And both times the Panda team has knocked the ball out of the park. I cannot be more proud of our firm, or our investors, who have taken the Panda Sherman Generating Station off the drawing board and, beginning today, will see it rise out of the ground.” Financing and Added Capacity Seen as Important Step Forward The Sherman financing marks only the second time in six years that a capital-intensive, greenfield construction project has been financed with a term loan. The other financing was for Panda’s 758-MW...

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