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The Life Center church has been busy giving back in the community.

The Houston church, under the leadership of Pastor James Winston, has not only provided food for low income Houstonians but the religious organization has also put a shelter in place for the homeless.

They continue their effort with the completion of the organization’s 5th dorm.

Here’s more about the Life Center:

There are approximately 20,000 Homeless people in the City of Houston and there is no indication that the number is diminishing. With depressing forces at work in our nation’s urban areas, the records of violent death continue to be broken. Hence, our name “The Life Center.” To be Homeless and without shelter is a frightening situation that often appears insurmountable. It’s an endless cycle driving them deeper into despair. The cycle can be broken.  We began The Life Center to break that cycle. With your help we can make a difference. We provide Homeless people with a place to come home to, food to sustain them, clothing to keep them warm, job counseling, a mailing address, Spiritual Guidance, a Computer Literacy Program and even a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program to help them overcome destructive addictions as they learn to cope with life.

One of our primary goals is to provide temporary shelter for up to 70 of Houston’s Homeless and most destitute, and after the completion of our new “Life Center’s Hope Village”, the plan is to have enough sleep space for 200. While at The Life Center, they will receive the services listed and also be referred to other agencies, ones that can assist them with getting proper identification, also agencies that help with employment, in an effort to give them opportunity to escape the cycle of life on the streets. But we can’t achieve this alone. We need your support. The Life Center has not received any Government grants as of yet.

The Life Center Vision began in 1989 and is a 501c3 non-profit, faith based Christian Organization. Located on Old Yale St., close to the Independence Heights area of Houston and the historical Acres Homes, we are ideally positioned to make a difference. Our present facilities include three living areas and a separate Multi – Purpose Facility that can be used for educational classes, meetings and motivational sessions, and Chapel with the ability to support our community and make a visible difference. We have a total of 10 facilities and room to grow. The Life Center operates as a 24–hour refuge for those who are in need. There is also a 90-day Rehabilitation Program. There is an on-site Director and an outreach team. We have a non-discrimination policy.

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It will be a first for a group of recovering substance abusers and former prostitutes in Houston.

The Factor has learned Kathryn Griffin Grinan,  founder of the Been There Done That program, is taking at least a dozen of her program participants to the polls to vote for the first time in their lives.
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Grinan says it’s part of their civic duty and it will also help the women integrate back into society as responsible adults.

The group will meet noon Wednesday at 1201 Franklin in downtown Houston and walk to the voting site together.

Grinan says her goal will not be to influence any of the women on which way to vote but just to vote.

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Everything old is new again and you can say the same for name calling.

That will be the case when it comes to the term ‘snitch’ used to negatively describe Houston rapper Troy Birklett aka Lil Troy.

This comes as Ozone Magazine founder / publisher Julia Beverly plans to release a biography on Houston legend Chad Butler aka Pimp C.

The book, which is scheduled to hit stores in 2015, could also contain references to court records.

One particular document posted by Beverly on Twitter last week lists Birklett as someone who has been helpful to state and federal investigators in the prosecution of drug dealers.

Beverly then writes you ever wondered why Pimp C called Lil Troy a snitch.

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The hip hop writer has also seen some controversy on Twitter since announcing the biography.

Many attacked her for not donating a portion of the profits from the book to the children of Butler.

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Julia Beverly of Ozone Magazine

However, after a very public battle Beverly said she had an agreement with Pimp C’S mother to give an undisclosed share to the children.

It will definitely be a highly anticipated release.

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The Medina County Sheriff’s Office is searching for Anne Wilson, diagnosed with a Cognitive Impairment, white, female, 75 years old, DOB 5/12/39, 5’ 3”, 100 lbs, white hair, blue eyes, wearing a button-up shirt with tank top, black slacks & black sneakers.

The senior citizen was last seen at 9:00 am, 10/26/14 at 730 CR 3821, San Antonio, TX, driving a white, 2012 Honda Accord with TX License Plate BDC 8722.

Law enforcement officials believe this senior citizen’s disappearance poses a credible threat to her own health and safety.

If you have any information regarding this missing senior citizen, contact the Medina County Sheriff’s Office at 830-741-6153.

News Media Point of Contact is Medina County Sheriff’s Office at 830-741-6150.

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In the news again…Fox 26 News has learned Grammy nominated gospel singer James Fortune has been arrested.

According to staffers at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office Fortune was released on a $20,000 bond around 3 pm Friday.

He was charged with assault / domestic violence involving a family member.

The Factor has not been able to reach Fortune’s reps as of yet but we’re working on it.

But the confirmation of the arrest comes from staffers at the Sheriff’s office.

You may remember in 2012 when James Fortune was accused in a civil lawsuit of abusing his then 4 year old stepson (incident allegedly occurred in 2001) by putting the child in scolding hot water. 

That son is now 17 years old.

Update: Sources now tell the Factor the alleged victim in this case is Cheryl Fortune. The wife of the gospel singer.

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The last thing you think about is Ebola and hair extensions…

But that was the latest scare that turned out to be false.

Internet rumors indicated some types of imported hair weave could contain Ebola.

While many laughed it off – it actually hurt some area Houston hair stylists financially.

Meka, the owner of Laced Up by Meka, says she saw a small decline in her business.

Meka says some of her customers actually believed they could get Ebola from certain types of hair extensions. 

Let me just say that claim is completely false.

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You can likely expect some push back from vendors at the farmer’s market in downtown Houston. 

It was about a month ago when Mayor Annise Parker amended the city’s ordinance that regulates food trucks. 

The change allowed the mobile vendors to set up shop in downtown Houston and in the Medical Center area. 

But what I noticed Wednesday at the farmer’s market was most of the food trucks were taking all of the business from those who actually had booths on the ground at the weekly event. 

There were long lines of people buying their lunch from the mobile cooks. 

I believe there will be some friction down the road. 

An Iraq war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has settled his dispute with a Harris County real estate leasing agency that refused to allow him to move into one of their properties with a service dog.

 

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Not actual dogs from hcdg.org

The lawsuit was filed by Sgt. Derek Kolb, who served as an Army infantryman in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and 2006. The leasing agency rejected two dogs he had been partnered with for treatment of his PTSD after an employee said they looked “aggressive.” Both dogs had been trained by Train a Dog, Save a Warrior (TADSAW), which works with shelter dogs.

 

Sgt. Kolb was represented pro bono by Winston & Strawn LLP Houston partner Tyler VanHoutan and associate Luke Culpepper, and attorneys Christopher P. McGreal and Brian East of Disability Rights Texas, an advocacy group for Texans with disabilities.

 

“What happened to Sgt. Kolb should never have happened to anyone, but the fact that it happened to a veteran made it particularly egregious,” said Mr. VanHoutan. “We are grateful that the settlement included training that should prevent the next person in his position from experiencing what he went through.”

 

According to the lawsuit, a leasing agent rejected Sgt. Kolb’s first service dog, a husky mix named Balto, after she saw a photo of the dog and said he looked like an “aggressive breed.” The leasing agency similarly rejected a second dog, a greyhound mix named Hank, because that dog “also looked aggressive,” according to Sgt. Kolb’s December 2013 complaint filed in court.

 

The settlement between Sgt. Kolb and the leasing agency requires agency employees to undergo training on the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Chapter 121 of the Texas Human Resource Code, with a particular emphasis on service animals. The leasing agency also agreed to receive training on the needs of U.S. veterans.

 

“Living with PTSD is a daily challenge, and Hank has helped bring me back from the brink many times,” said Sgt. Kolb. “Businesses need to understand that service dogs like Hank and Balto aren’t pets. And even though the injuries I and others with PTSD suffer from aren’t visible to the naked eye, it doesn’t make them any less real.”

 

Sgt. Kolb, 30, suffered traumatic brain and leg injuries from a roadside bomb in September 2005. Medically retired from the U.S. Army, he received 10 awards for his service, including the Bronze Star.

 

His pervasive PTSD, however, made his life almost unbearable. Sgt. Kolb isolated himself from his friends and family, suffered anxiety and frequently had intrusive thoughts, according to the lawsuit. He was briefly homeless before moving into Camp Hope, a transitional living facility for homeless vets with PTSD, where he learned about the possibility of having a service dog and living independently.

 

When the leasing agency rejected his service dogs, Sgt. Kolb eventually found another leasing agency that was able to find him a place to live. However, the rent he paid was $100 a month more than he would have paid for the properties the original agency found for him, according to the lawsuit.

 

Mr. McGreal said the lawsuit should also help raise awareness of veterans and others suffering from PTSD.

 

“This issue has become more pressing as a growing number of veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan,” added Mr. McGreal. “Ensuring they have access to service dogs – and homes to live in – is one of the many things we should be doing to honor their sacrifice.”

 

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The Factor has learned there could soon be a Destiny’s Child Lane in Houston. 

This comes after Houston City Councilman Michael Kubosh says he will meet with Mathew Knowles (Beyonce’s father) this week to discuss renaming Hadley Street in downtown Houston to Destiny’s Child Lane. 

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Michael Kubosh

It’s where Music World Entertainment, the former home of Destiny’s Child, has been located for more than 20 years. 

Obviously, there will be public hearings and input before the big change takes place. The Factor will cover this meeting along with FOX 26 News.

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On Saturday October 25, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Congressman Al Green will be joined by other elected officials, community leaders and Houston voters of all ages for an early vote rally. It will be held in the San Jacinto Room of the Crowne Plaza located at 8686 Kirby Drive at Loop 610. 

After the rally, Congressman Green will invite those in attendance to join a protest march to the early voting site located inside the Fiesta Grocery store at 8130 Kirby Dr., Houston, Texas 77054. 

“Houston voters are casting their ballots under the most restrictive Voter ID Law in the country, which has been declared unconstitutional,” said Congressman Al Green. “We will march in the names of those who fought and died to secure this right.

We want the State of Texas to know we will not be turned around. We’ve struggled too long, sacrificed too much and come too far to be turned away. Our voices will be heard and our votes will be counted.”

WHO:  Congressmen Al Green (TX-09), Other Elected Officials, Houstonians

WHAT:  Early Vote Rally WHEN:  11 a.m. – 1 p.m. CST, Saturday, October 25, 2014   (March will begin at 12:30 p.m.) 

WHERE:  Crowne Plaza Hotel – San Jacinto Room   8686 Kirby Drive at Loop 610 South    (near the Fiesta Early Voting Location)     Houston, TX 77054