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Get Emergency Utility Bill Help Now Through Your Smartphone

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San Antonio’s Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the availability of a new, Emergency Utility Bill Assistance online application, which is at www.sanantonio.gov/DHSutility.

The online application simplifies the previous paper-based process by eliminating the need for residents to print and photocopy supporting documentation (photo ID, proof of income, CPS Energy or SAWS bill), and mail documents or visit the Willie Velasquez Center to obtain assistance. Now, residents can complete the application online and upload required documents using their smartphone or tablet’s built-in camera.

“We have found that most of our clients today have a smartphone, even if they don’t have a computer,” Human Services Director Melody Woosley said. “We wanted to make it easy for residents to use that phone to apply for the assistance they need.”

The new online application is the culmination of the inaugural CivTechSA residency program, collaboration between the City’s Office of Innovation and Geekdom. CivTechSA coordinated a 16-week residency in which city departments pitched their challenges to be solved by local technology firms. Kinetech Cloud, a Geekdom-based custom software-as-a-service provider, was one of two businesses selected for the CivTechSA residency.

The emergency utility assistance program helps the city’s most vulnerable residents during times of need to avoid power and water service shut-offs whenever possible. The average annual income of applicants for assistance is approximately $14,000. The program processes over 10,000 applications annually, administering approximately $2.4 million in CPS Energy bill assistance and $400,000 in San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) credits. Human Services works closely with CPS Energy and SAWS to apply the assistance credits to the bills of eligible residents in need.

“The new online application system allows our staff to provide real-time updates to clients. When a family faces utility disconnection, time is of the essence. This application allows for faster communication with clients, to help complete their application and keep utilities connected,” Woosley said.

Additional benefits of the application include a self-service portal where applicants can check the status of their application, view the average processing time for the past thirty days, and receive automated notifications each time the status of their application changes.

“Virtually every industry is being impacted by technology and local government is no different,” said Michael Guido, CEO of Kinetech. “The majority of population growth over the next fifty years will occur in urban areas. Cities must invest in infrastructure and digital services to address this growth in a sustainable way.”

The DHS solution aligns with San Antonio’s Smart City Initiative – to have San Antonio be connected, inclusive, and resilient. Interested citizens can find out more at www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/FinanceEmergency.

 

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Councilman Shaw Resigns from City Council

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SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 13, 2018) —
Effective January 7, 2019, Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw is resigning from his position on City Council as he has accepted an offer to become associate judge of the 436th Judicial District Court.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of District 2 and collaborate with the staff at the City of San Antonio,” said Councilman Shaw. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the youth in San Antonio who have found their way into the criminal justice system. I want to make clear to the people in District 2 that there will be no interruption in services and council staff will continue to address all constituent concerns.”

The City will release the details for filling the District 2 vacancy in the coming days.

 

View resignation letter

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The Discussion w The Writer Fred Blacks in the Media: Have We Made Good Progress?

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What Makes Us Human – DreamWeek 2019

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Film screenings, discussions, concerts, photo, art exhibits to spoken word is starting to fill the calendar for DreamWeek 2019, which takes place for 16 days in January starting Jan. 11. The goal is to inspire discourse on civil issues relating to tolerance, equality, and diversity. .

“What Makes us Human” is the theme for DreamWeek 2019, which is now in its seventh year. Since its inception, DreamWeek has partnered with more than 400 organizations hosting a total of over 1,000 events, and an estimated 130,000 or more attendees have participated in the DreamWeek summit. DreamWeek is concurrent with the annual MLK Commemorative March, which attracted over 300,000 marchers in 2017 and is estimated to be one of the largest in the nation.

One of the events kicking off DreamWeek is Fiesta Youth and Woodlawn Pointe’s NOH8 Campaign Photo Shoot on Saturday Jan. 12, 2019 at Woodlawn Pointe Auditorium from 2 pm to 4 pm. To date, NOH8 Campaign has hosted official photo shoots in 48 of the 50 United States (plus D.C.) and 20 countries around the world. NOH8’s mission is to promote love, acceptance and respect for all human beings.

See the pictures from the first San Antonio NOH8 photo shoot below.

2018 San Antonio SOLO Photos:
http://www.noh8campaign.com/photo-gallery/noh8-photos-36001-36250

2018 San Antonio GROUP or COUPLE Photos:
http://www.noh8campaign.com/photo-gallery/creative-group-photos-93

On Jan. 17, another DreamWeek event is a panel discussion with community leaders, educations experts and stakeholders on student opportunities, access, and readiness. 100 Black Men of America Inc., received a grant from the United States Department of Justice for its Project SOAR (Student Opportunities, Access, and Readiness) program. The program helps to guide youth in establishing and attaining their goals through hard work and commitment.

To learn more about DreamWeek, go here.

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