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Frigid Temperatures

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SAN ANTONIO (February 12, 2021) — The City of San Antonio continues to monitor upcoming inclement winter weather conditions. City services will continue as normally scheduled, unless noted below. Residents are encouraged to report any service issues to 311 for support. The San Antonio Fire Department also provide winter weather safety information at this link. The public is encouraged to stay home, if possible. 

Public Works

  • The Public Works Department stands ready to support SAPD (the City’s Emergency Command Department) and TxDOT’s response to potentially severe winter weather conditions. Beginning Saturday, February 13, 2021, through Monday, February 15, 2021, Public Works will monitor conditions around the clock and place dozens of crews on standby. 
  • Based on the weather events, Public Works will be prepared to dispatch crews from service centers to spread a gravel, de-icing mixture on highway overpasses connected to City streets that are not maintained by TxDOT. 
  • Public Works will also have street sweeping crews on standby to remove accumulated de-icing material from roadways, once weather conditions have improved. Residents are urged to please contact 311 to report any concerns about fallen tree limbs or malfunctioning traffic signals.

Department of Human Services

  • Senior Centers: Curbside pickup and delivery of meals by the Department of Human Services is cancelled on Monday, February 15. Meal distribution will resume on Tuesday, February 16, at its regularly scheduled time.
  • Shelter for people experiencing homelessness: The Department of Human Services continues providing resource updates to homeless service providers and street outreach workers to encourage people experiencing unsheltered homelessness to access available shelter options. Haven for Hope is open to anyone seeking shelter from the cold.  All clients sleep indoors and are given blankets, food, snacks and cold weather clothing, including warm jackets.  Haven for Hope has expanded cold weather sleeping capacity for individuals to stay inside and warm the entire weekend. DHS and SAMMinistries teams have visited known homeless encampments this week to update people experiencing homelessness about the weather forecast and offer transportation to shelters and cold weather gear. The City of San Antonio also has hotel rooms on standby in the event that additional shelter space is needed. 
  • Emergency shelters: These locations will be practicing social distancing, requiring masks and limiting numbers 
    • CUB (Church Under the Bridge) 724 Chestnut, 78202 (near Nolan and HWY 281) – 5:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday night to hand out about 40 bed tickets. It’s first come first serve. Once they have a ticket, intake process will begin at 7pm. Dinner, breakfast and a movie will be provided. 
    • Life Restored Church: 400 Arbor Place will open Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday night for 20 people. People can start lining up at 5 p.m. to request a ticket for a bed and those intakes will begin at 6 p.m. They will also provide dinner, breakfast and a movie. 
    • Haven for Hope is open to ANYONE seeking shelter from the cold that will be willing to shelter in place and follow CDC guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing. All clients sleep indoors and are given cold-weather clothing, including warm jackets. They will open for this emergency weather process at 3pm (Friday February 12, 2021). This is not an official campus enrollment, so no clean urine analysis or ID are required. 
    • Salvation Army Dave Coy Men’s Shelter- 226 Nolan Street Nightly shelter enrollment begins at 3 p.m. daily through 8 p.m. meals provided too first come first serve. Individuals must be 18 years or older and provide a picture ID at the time of enrollment. New visitors will receive the first three nights for free and enrolled clients pay $12.50 per night
    • Corazon Ministries at Travis Park Church: 230 E. Travis 10-12 people starting February 11th thru possibly Tuesday or Wednesday or when below freezing stops. Showers will be available. They will check people in at 4pm. taking the first 12. Light breakfast each morning guests will leave the building and the space will be cleaned for the next evening. Their medical center is open on Sundays at 8am and Thursdays at 4:00pm. They will operate as normal. 
    • Last Chance Ministries404 Brady Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78207. They can take approximately 75 men and women (no children). Doors will open at 8 p.m. Point of contact is Pastor Janie (210) 873-0660 
    • Roy Maas Youth-3103 West Ave. Alternatives Centro Seguro Drop-in Center for youth ages 24 and younger remains open 24/7 
  • Warm supply resources and HUBs: 
    • Catholic Worker House is not opening for emergency shelter but will keep moving forward with their usual food distribution Monday through Friday. They are closed on the weekends. But they will serve lunch bags Friday morning along with breakfast and hot lunch Monday morning. 
    • CAM: 110 McCullough – food distribution on Friday and Saturday morning beginning at 7:30am. During distribution they will be handing out hand warmers, jackets, and blankets, socks, hats, gloves. Showers will be closed Saturday and Monday. CAM will hang signs on property for folks to know where to go. CAM will resume morning meal service Tuesday morning. Contact (210) 223-4099 www.cam-sa.org
    • San Fernando HUB: 319 W. Travis South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), in partnership with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, organized a collection drive for cold weather materials, including jackets, blankets, socks, and more. Items can be picked up at the San Fernando Homeless Resource Hub located at 319 W. Travis St. from Monday to Friday between 1 and 4 p.m. Meals are provided at this HUB as well. 
    • Outreach workers and nonprofits serving the homeless have been in the field and will be disseminating information and supplies. CAM will have signs on their fences laminated all weekend to guide people where they can go for help.

Metro Health

  • COVID-19 Vaccines: COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the Alamodome scheduled for Monday, February 15th  have been rescheduled to Friday, February 19th at the same appointment times. People seeking a warm place to stay should call 211.  
  • COVID-19 Testing: COVID-19 Testing Sites located at Cuellar and Ramirez Community Centers will be closed February 13th- 15th due to inclement weather. For the latest information visit the website.

Animal Care Services

  • The best way to protect pets during a winter storm is to bring them inside. Pets (especially cats) are safer indoors. If you are unable to have pets inside, consider purchasing an insulated doghouse or build a protective enclosure that shields your pet from the elements and gives them a safe, warm place to rest.
  • Although outdoor pets need proper shelter because it protects them from the elements, it’s also the law here in San Antonio and violators face zero tolerance during extreme weather events. Fines generally start at $300 per violation. 
  • Pets who stay outdoors without shelter may also seek warmth anywhere they can. To prevent a dog from escaping the yard, repair broken fencing and gates and fill in any holes along fence lines. 

Parks and Recreation Department:

  • The Drive-Thru Jammin’ Jams event has been rescheduled from February 13th to the 20th.

Information in American Sign Language is also available at http://sat.ahasalerts.com/Default.aspx

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Stork’s Nest Community Conversations

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Pi Zeta Chapter launches its Stork’s Nest Community Conversations program, with its first event on Feb. 18 at St. Philip’s College from 10 am to noon.  

Stork’s Nest Community Conversations will bring expectant mothers, their support groups, health and medical care experts, advocates, and government leaders together. Its purpose is to educate and engage on pregnancy and women’s health topics.  

March of Dimes 2022 Report Card depicts the need for collaborative work and innovative ideas to improve Texas preterm births. Texas’ preterm birth rate is 11.4% (D-). Bexar County and San Antonio’s preterm birth rates are 12.0% (F). The preterm birth rate among Black women in Texas is 41% –  higher than among other women. 

The Alpha Pi Zeta Chapter will host four Community Conversations throughout the year. On May 20, the topic is Learn How Legislation Affects You: Meet the Medical and Government Experts. On Aug. 19, the topic is Postpartum Education: What to Expect When You and Your Baby Come Home. And on Nov. 18, there will be a health fair, and a conversation on You are in Control: Health and Finances. 

The sorority’s Stork’s Nest 3.0 e-Learning Course also educates pregnant women to help improve birth outcomes and develop healthy lifestyles. Since 2021, the Stork’s Nest 3.0 e-Learning Course has enrolled 108 clients and has averaged an 86% graduation rate. The sorority partners with the Alpha Pi Zeta Foundation, the March of Dimes, the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, African American Health Disparities Council.

The Feb. 18 Stork’s Nest Community Conversations will be in the Turbon Student Center on the 2nd floor of St. Philip’s (1801 Martin Luther King Drive). To learn more about future Community Conversations, just put Stork’s Nest Community Conversations in the search bar of Eventbrite.

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Black History Events – Safe Spots for Black Motorists to IKEA Exhibit

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Black history is American history 365 days a year, and here are some events in February from the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) to learn about African American influences and achievements. Located at La Villita (218 South Presa), the mission of SAAACAM is to collect, preserve and share the cultural heritage of African Americans in the San Antonio region. 

Feb. 7 from 10  am – 11 am – Story Time in the Park at the Hemisfair (434 S. Alamo Street). Each month young explorers learn and play around the theme of being different while being included. A short story is shared followed by a hands-on learning activity. 

Feb. 11 from 1 pm – 3 pm  – Black History River Tour (218 South Presa). Join SAAACAM on the San Antonio River for a 100-minute cruise exploring San Antonio’s Black history and the holiday lights that adorn the Riverwalk. The trip starts at La Villita, where it travels north through the Museum Reach to the Pearl, then back downtown to the Alamo, Convention Center and back to La Villita. Participants will be surprised at the continued African American influence in San Antonio.

Feb. 13 from 8 am – 10 am – Black Resistance at the Lunch Counter (IKEA Live Oak, Live Oak). SAAACAM and IKEA Live Oak celebrate the opening of the new exhibition at IKEA Live Oak “Black Resistance at the Lunch Counter,” with a complimentary breakfast. The exhibit will be available to the public for viewing from Feb. 13 through March 16. 

Feb. 22 from 2 pm – 4 pm – Green Book Historic Marker Unveiling (218 South Presa). View the locations of San Antonio’s Safe Spots for Negro Motorists during the Jim Crow era researched by students of the Texas A & M University-San Antonio, Methods of Historical Research Class (2022) led by Dr. Pamela Walker. This is a free event, but registration is required.

For more information about the different events and how to participate, visit (SAAACAM.org).

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People of Color Increasing Pet Ownership

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By Melissa Monroe

I have a confession to make. When my son was 5 years old, I lied and told him our beloved dog, Simba, ran away. You see, Simba, a beautiful white spitz mix breed, wasn’t the fun-loving character like on Lion King. Instead, he was the vicious growling Cujo. 

Simba wanted to go everywhere with us when my daughter was born (when my son was 5). He was loving to the family, but no one could pet him. I mean, NO ONE! We would have to put him in a bedroom when someone wanted to visit. After 10 years, I had to make the hard decision to give him to San Antonio Animal Care Services

After that experience, I was traumatized from owning another pet but finally gave in when my two kids wanted a toy poodle. Mojo now is much different, though he has issues too. He does allow people to at least touch him. So why this long intro? Because, like many people of color, I didn’t want to be stereotyped as not being a good pet owner since I’m not white. In fact, Mojo gets his “hair done” more than I do. I even had pet insurance for him at one point. 

Pet owners like myself are fueling the billion-dollar pet industry. According to consumer market research company, Package Facts, the U.S. pet industry continued its strong advance in 2021, surging 14% overall to $123 billion. The company also reported that pets now live in 67 million U.S. households, and multicultural pet owners are a key reason. 

Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans are an influential and growing segment among owners of dogs, cats, and other pets. Compared to a decade ago, pet owners are now more likely to be a member of a multicultural population segment (28% in 2018 vs. 22% in 2008).

Another reason why I enjoy being a pet owner is because of the love pets show you. Mojo is the first to greet me at the door when I get home and never talks back to me (smile). A large majority of pet owners believe their pets have a beneficial impact on their emotional and physical health. 

We see evidence of that with the increasing demand for service dogs to help ease people with PTSD, autism, seizures, diabetes, and much more. Training for these working dogs can range in the tens of thousands of dollars, and many fail to become top-notch service animals. 

Atlas Assistance Dogs, an organization that trains people to be qualified dog trainers, estimates that there are 16,766 assistance dogs in the North America Region. But this number considers service dogs trained by ADI-accredited organizations. It doesn’t consider service dogs trained by their disabled owners. Atlas says it’s difficult to establish an exact number of service dogs in America. For example, ShareAmerica.com estimates about 500,000 service dogs in the US. 

Service dogs also have legal protection from discrimination. The U.S. Fair Housing Act requires homeowners and housing providers to provide reasonable accommodation for service dogs and not to discriminate. Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), airline operators in the US are required to accept service dogs as passengers and transport them on flights to, within, and from the United States. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives service dogs the right to access public areas and facilities. Operators of public facilities are required to admit them and their handlers without discriminating.

Pet ownership is also great for physical fitness. Researchers analyzed 29 studies published between 1990 and 2010, primarily in the United States and Australia. On average, 60% of dog owners walked 160 minutes per week and four times per week, a greater amount and frequency than people in dog-less households.

So while I miss Simba and think about everything I did to help him – expensive dog training and even having a psychic check him out – YES, I did that too; I’m grateful for the time I had with him and for knowing I did what I could to help him. Sharing a home with a pet is not cheap, but many benefits can be gained. 

Here are some more stats about multicultural pet owners 

  • Hispanics have become an especially significant part of the population of pet owners. The number of Latinos owning pets increased 44% from 15 million in 2008 to 22 million in 2018, a growth rate vastly greater than that experienced among non-Hispanic white pet owners.
  • Although a much smaller population, Asian pet owners grew at the same rate (45%) between 2008 and 2018.
  • During the same period, the number of African American pet owners also increased at a healthy rate (24%).
  • The impact of Latinos on dog or cat ownership has been especially pronounced. Over the past decade, the number of Hispanic dog owners increased by 59%. The number of Latino cat owners likewise increased by 50%.
  • The two most popular pets, dogs and cats, live in 39% and 24% of U.S. households, respectively. One in eight homes has other pets — including fish, birds, reptiles, or small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, or gerbils.
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