The Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC) is pleased to announce the celebration of its 14th property, the Horizon Apartments. The celebratory event will be held at 1pm at Larry’s Restaurant at 24 Windward Avenue on Thursday, November 17, 2011.
Located in Venice, Horizon Apartments is a 20-unit building that provides permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with disabilities. Intentionally responding constructively to address the homeless population, VCHC sought and received financial assistance from private and public partners to purchase and refurbish a formally short-term privately owned hotel. The current economic climate and decline in tourism made the acquisition of the building feasible for VHCH.
“When you give people a permanent space to call home, they have the time and ability to focus on the things that they need to do to get back on track. Each and every individual housed is a success. A success story for that person.” Steve Clare – Executive Director of VCHC.
According to the 2011 Homeless Count, there are 51,000 homeless people each night in Los Angeles. Recent surveys determined 200+ individuals regularly sleep on the beach of Venice. Additional individuals and families are calling their cars, motor homes, benches and alleys home. While some will sleep at the temporary Westside Winter Shelter, the need for permanent affordable and supportive housing is crucial to truly deal with this ever-growing issue.
Frank Freemont has been homeless Venice for 15 years. Recently, on August 1, 2011 he signed his lease to the Horizon Apartments. “I still cannot believe I have my own place, now I could get to do the things that I love.” One of Mr. Fremont’s interests is playing the guitar. He considers himself a master at the guitar and if you ever listened to him play it is hard to argue that. He is self taught and has played across the United States and even had a long gig to play in Japan for two months with all expenses paid after being discovered at the Santa Monica Promenade playing the guitar for food. Mr. Freemont continues to attend all of his appointments such as case management meetings at St. Joseph Center, and Edelman where he receives mental health treatment. Mr. Freemont states, It has been a years since he had a real home and I’m really grateful to VCHC and SJC. “Now I have hope.”
This project was made possible through collaborative partners:
Architect-Ralph Mechur, Contractor – Fassberg Contractive Corporation, Finance Consultant – Nancy Lewis & Associates, and Relocation Consultant – Shober Consulting.
Funding was provided by: Ahmanson Foundation. California Dept. of Housing & Community Development, California Housing Finance Agency, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and Los
Angeles County Community Development Commission.
Special thanks for financial support to Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
Supportive services are provided by St. Joseph Center, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health [Edelman Community Mental Health Center], and Venice Community Housing Corporation to ensure residents make a successful transitional and maintain their housing.
About Venice Community Housing Corporation: For more than 23 years, Venice Community Housing has been developing lasting, neighborhood-based solutions for low-income and homeless families and individuals. We own and manage nearly 200 units of non-profit housing, both transitional and permanent. 80 units are specifically used to house formally homeless individuals including our 8-unit Transitional Housing Center housing women and children and our most recent Horizon Apartments. We also provide a comprehensive program that includes job training, youth development and employments, life skills coaching and family services. This blend of housing and supportive programs allows our formally homeless and low-income constituents to stabilize their lives and achieve economic self-reliance. Every person who transitions out of homelessness or joblessness adds to the strength of our community. Our efforts make neighborhoods safer and more inclusive.