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Neighborhood Ambassadors are Harris County residents who took just 10 minutes of their day to help shape the communities they want to see. Read their stories. Do they sound familiar? Take the My Home Is Here survey and sign up to share your personal story as a Neighborhood Ambassador.
Harris County wants to hear what you need to create a future with less worries and more wonder.

My Home is Here
I have lived here for 41 years. I raised my son here, and my grandchildren have found this home to be the one which most comforts them.

ANNETTE BALDWIN

My Home Is Westlake Forest

ANNETTE BALDWIN

What does home mean to you?
I have lived here for 41 years. I raised my son here, and my grandchildren have found this home to be the one which most comforts them. I advocate for my community both in the public arena and as an HOA Director who has led the community in many physical changes to our amenities and the creation of civic events and neighbor-neighbor caring and compassion.  

Why did take the My Home is Here Survey?
I received an email about the My Home Is Here survey.  

What do you love about your neighborhood?
This is a neighborhood which middle income families as well as retirees can afford, and it's centrally located for medical, shopping, education, libraries, recreation and easy travel. 

What do you need to feel safe in your home during severe weather?
Protection for our community from flooding. Each area of the Houston metro has different causes for the flooding, and our area is hampered by the failures of the US ACE (United States Army Corps of Engineers). That is frightening. We have two contract Sheriff's contracts, plus two nights of unmarked LE (law enforcement) presence in our subdivisions, so crime is not an issue. 

What do you want to see improved in your neighborhood?
Flood control which is the most important element of our infrastructure must be implemented to stop the flooding which unncessarily seizes our community. 

Interviews have been edited for clarity.

My Home is Here
Home is a place to do your best work, cry your worst cry, experience your first love, make your first mud pie, fail miserably, and have the best sleep.

KENNY GABRIEL

My Home Is North Houston

KENNY GABRIEL

What does home mean to you?
Home means sanctuary, peace of mind, and legacy. It's a place to do your best work, cry your worst cry, experience your first love, make your first mud pie, fail miserably, and have the best sleep. Home means many things to me for many reasons and at different times.  

Why did take the My Home is Here Survey?
Representation is very important in many respects. The value that I place on my home should align with the value my city has in me. Part of this is ensuring that amenities, monies, and safety protocols are in effect. It's important that narratives are symmetrical. So many times we see reports, trends, and numbers about neighborhoods and the individuals who comprise them. The sentiments of those in that area often muted, however. The My Home is Here Survey is pivotal in creating a voice for those who need one. 
As I get older, and now own my own home, I realize that home means legacy. It's a form of wealth that many don't have the privilege to experience but should. It's my sanctuary that gives me protection and offers rejuvenation from a world that sometimes sees me as undeserving of my popping melanin, intellect, and innate talents. Home grants me peace of mind and clarity of thought; everything inside won't hurt or diminish me because I crafted the space to grant me solace. 

What do you love about your neighborhood?
My neighborhood is largely comprised of black residents with a median age of 50 who make an average of 85K. Forty-five percent hold a Master's Degree, and the neighborhood is over 30 years old with homes that look like they are 15 years old. I moved there because it feels like Black excellence. There is so much wisdom, love, and safety in the neighborhood. 
I love my neighborhood because it's a testament to all the naysayers that black people, when together, can create something great and maintain it. Outside of the neighborhood, lies a different world but I see it being augmented for the better and it's all because of engagement and involvement.  

What do you need to feel safe in your home during severe weather?
I need to know there are services available to mobilize and assist if something transpires as a result of severe weather. Houston floods during regular thunderstorms so adequate drainage, detention/retention ponds, and evacuation routes are paramount.

What do you want to see improved in your neighborhood?
Outside of my neighborhood are many apartment complexes used as buffer zones to businesses that comprise check cashing, washeterias, liquor stores, and fast food. I consider it a food desert as there are no healthful eateries or supermarkets within a five mile radius. I'd like to see establishments that promote healthier choices to eat. In many cases, people within a certain zone eat the foods they eat because it's what is available not because they want to. Additionally, heavily processed foods are cheaper than foods that are natural which is nonsensical. 
I'd like to see access to eateries, supermarkets, less liquor stores, and more parks versus gas stations being built to promote healthier lifestyles. 

Interviews have been edited for clarity.

My Home is Here
I took the survey for help for the elderly in maintaining their home.

Gabriella Hollon-Meadows

My Home Is Alief

Gabriella Hollon-Meadows

What does home mean to you?
A place to be comfortable and relax. 

Why did take the My Home is Here Survey?
I was hoping it might lead to some help for the elderly in maintaining their home.  

What do you love about your neighborhood?
I have great neighbors! 

What do you need to feel safe in your home during severe weather?
A lot of prayer! There's a huge tree behind the house that I can't cut, but could destroy the back of my home! 

What do you want to see improved in your neighborhood?
Level sidewalks (wheelchair accessible), better drainage to prevent flooding, better security (police patrols) 

Interviews have been edited for clarity.