We need a coordinated and comprehensive crisis response to homelessness, but the backbone of our effort must continue to be affordable housing with support services...and we must not rest until everyone who calls Los Angeles County home has the same opportunity to live a life of dignity and purpose.
LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) October 16, 2019
There are 29 more people who are off the street and working toward housing stability. Linc Housing joined with Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, California State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Sr., the Los Angeles County Development Authority, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, new residents and other partners to celebrate the completion of The Nightingale, an all-new affordable apartment community for people who have experienced homelessness.
When Cleveland, a resident at The Nightingale, heard he’d been approved to move in, he had two reasons to celebrate – he was getting off the street, and he had just completed his last round of chemotherapy. He would finally have a home where he could recover and heal. He became homeless in 2014 due to a series of unfortunate events, including his own illness, his mother’s passing, and losing their home to foreclosure. Cleveland said the scariest part of living on the streets was worrying about his safety. “I tried to fit in as best I could,” he said. “Now that I have stable housing, I’m trying to do things that I never learned how to do before.” He’s been learning to use computers. He hopes to leave a legacy of his life experiences by writing a book, and he’s determined to take better care of his health now that he’s housed.
The Nightingale, located in unincorporated Los Angeles County at 6218 Compton Ave., 90001, features 29 one-bedroom homes for those who have experienced homelessness, and one two-bedroom unit for the on-site manager. All residents were referred by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) through the Coordinated Entry System (CES). With the urgent need for more housing to help address the region’s homelessness crisis, Linc was able to work with the County of Los Angeles and its inspectors to fast track the permitting and approval processes. The homes were filled in record time, demonstrating the high demand for supportive housing and the County’s commitment to move as quickly as possible.
“To The Nightingale apartments’ new residents, congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood. To Linc Housing, thank you for being a partner in our effort to lift people out of homelessness," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. "We need a coordinated and comprehensive crisis response to homelessness, but the backbone of our effort must continue to be affordable housing with support services. Grand opening ceremonies like this remind us that with a house key, we can change the course of someone’s life. And we must not rest until everyone who calls Los Angeles County home has the same opportunity to live a life of dignity and purpose."
In addition to 30 apartments, the new four-story building includes a community room with computer lab and an outdoor BBQ and seating area with a community garden. There are also private offices and meeting spaces for service providers and case managers. For residents with disabilities, 15 Universal Design units, including three ADA mobility and three ADA audio/visual units, provide accessibility and allow residents to age in place. Features include wider hallways and door widths, grab bars, tub seats, removable panels in the bathroom cabinet, and front control appliances in the kitchen.
Partnership with the Los Angeles County of Department Health Services allows Linc and its service partners, The People Concern and Brilliant Corners, to serve the 29 formerly homeless households with intensive case management services. Services include mental health and physical health services, employment counseling and job placement, education, substance abuse counseling, money management, assistance in obtaining and maintaining benefits, and referrals to community-based services and resources. Linc Cares also supports residents with a variety of services to promote community, health and wellness. Several Linc Cares programs are already underway at The Nightingale, including computer classes, yoga, sustainable living workshops, gardening club, healthy eating and cooking classes, and a monthly food bank.
“Linc Housing continues its commitment to building affordable housing with supportive services to create stronger neighborhoods," said Rebecca Clark, Linc president and CEO. "The support from the community and our elected officials is unprecedented. We’re grateful so many people recognize that the homelessness crisis must be addressed. Linc and our partners are doing all we can to be part of the solution."
Funding for the development comes the Los Angeles County Development Authority, a conventional loan from Citibank, and tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc. Ongoing operating support is provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Additional predevelopment support was provided by The California Endowment.
The Nightingale has been registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and intends to pursue a LEED Gold certification. Sustainable features include high efficiency HVAC, windows, water fixtures, smart irrigation system, drought tolerant planting, 16 secure bicycle storage lockers, EnergyStar appliances in resident units and laundry rooms, and a PV solar system that will offset resident’s bills while reducing carbon emissions.
The building was designed by D33 Design & Planning Inc., and the contractor was Walton Construction Inc. Construction started in December 2017, and residents began the move-in process in July 2019.
About Linc Housing Corporation
Linc Housing, one of California's most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing, is committed to building communities and strengthening neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace. Linc has helped create more than 8,000 homes in 79 communities throughout the state. The organization's properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. Linc has more than 35 years of service to families, seniors, people with special needs, and local governments - helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation. Visit http://www.linchousing.org for more information.