Anaheim, CA – Jamboree Housing Corporation, along with a crowd of more than 135 supporters – including City of Anaheim officials and representatives from the state and county governments – gathered on Earth Day for the ceremonial groundbreaking of Diamond Apartment Homes. Located in Anaheim, this innovative residential community is a pioneering multifamily development that provides both housing and mental health supportive services for previously homeless individuals and their families in Orange County. For these residents with severe, persistent mental illness, permanent housing is critical to providing stability and ongoing mental health services.
“As evidenced here at Diamond, Jamboree is committed to quality design and construction, and enhancing the quality of life through services,” said Laura Archuleta, president of Jamboree Housing. “Reflected in every aspect – from compact design and green features to comprehensive resident services – this property has been thoroughly planned, including specialized mental health services through Telecare Corporation.”
Diamond will be home to 25 families who earn no more than $30,120 (less than 30% of the area median income). All units will be fully furnished and include ENERGY STAR appliances, window and floor coverings, ample storage closets and private outdoor space. A 2,500 square foot resident services center features case management offices, a teaching kitchen, multipurpose room and computer lab. Diamond is a modern, compact design community with shopping, medical services, employment opportunities and schools nearby. Integral to the success of Diamond is the inclusion of fully funded, ongoing supportive services – delivered with a “whatever it takes” approach – that will enable residents to live in permanent housing with a stable environment.
H.O.M.E.S. (Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success) will ensure that services meet the needs of residents. Telecare Corporation, the Orange County Healthcare Agency’s innovative mental health services partner, will assist residents with 24/7 availability for support of daily living activities and link them to other supportive and independent living services. All residents are expected to be active and productive outside the home for at least 20 hours each week.
“Mental illness is not the knockout punch, homelessness is,” said Helen Cameron, Executive Director of H.O.M.E.S., Inc., noting that 4,500 chronically homeless with mental illness – many of whom are veterans – live in Orange County. Cameron pointed out the cost comparison of H.O.M.E.S. programs and services with that of hospitalizing a mental health client - $30 per day as compared to $1,500 per day. “Diamond represents a huge partnership and network of individuals – including a commitment from the City of Anaheim. We hope this will serve as a cost-effective model for other cities and communities because the need is so great.”
Archuleta further underscored the need for both housing and services and commended the City of Anaheim officials for their courage in partnering on Diamond. “The need is already here. By fulfilling this need, the lives of resident will forever be changed because of your willingness and fortitude to make the right decision.”
Mark Refowitz, Deputy Agency Director, Behavioral Health Services, Orange County Health Care Agency, further commended the City of Anaheim for granting homeless individuals the opportunity to obtain employment, housing, and a real home. “Thank you for having principals in a difficult environment and making a hard stand on behalf of all citizens of our great county.” Jamboree, H.O.M.E.S. and the City worked diligently to overcome initial community opposition to the project. “Today, Diamond is a hallmark in providing permanent housing and continuous services to an underserved part of the community.”
As such, representatives from the California State Assembly, State Senator Lou Correa’s office and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office presented Jamboree with official Certificates of Recognition for its “dedication and commitment in providing housing and mental health support services to the residents of Anaheim.” In addition, the Governor’s office applauded efforts to provide housing for homeless families as truly inspiring, noting that this innovative facility will provide much-needed shelter and medical care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. In the Governor’s words, “By reaching out, you are creating brighter futures and strengthening our state.”
The ceremony also marked the announcement of the property’s GreenPoint Rated design – a first for Jamboree and consistent with its increased commitment to sustainable development. Diamond exceeds Title 24 energy efficiency standards by 16.5%. This lowers resident energy consumption, provides a cost-saving benefit to residents, improves the financial feasibility of the development and promotes the health of residents. Building “green” is a natural extension of Jamboree’s mission because, outside of rent, one of the largest expenses for residents is utility costs. By creating savings in that area, Jamboree further promotes the financial stability of its residents.
“Without money, there is no mission,” noted Michael Massie, Jamboree’s Housing Development Manager. “Without the financial support of our partners – including the Governor’s Homeless Initiative, Anaheim Housing Authority, Anaheim Redevelopment Agency, Orange County Housing and Community Services, Orange County Health Care Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and tax credit syndication by WNC & Associates, Inc. – we would not have the ability to bring the passion, ideals and courage of this project to fruition.”
“Combined with vision and financial support, land and political will are the ingredients for advancing successful affordable housing,” emphasized City of Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, noting the City’s commitment to develop 1,400 affordable housing units within five years. Diamond is the culmination of these ingredients and a winning recipe of continuous social services, permanent housing, and the opportunity for families to have a place to call home.”
Diamond Apartment Homes Fact Sheet, Green Features, Rendering available upon request.
About H.O.M.E.S., Inc.: Founded in 1985, Orange County-based H.O.M.E.S., Inc. is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides housing and support for people with psychiatric disabilities. Its housing programs encourage independence and self-reliance by helping individuals succeed in their own local communities and beyond. To date, H.O.M.E.S. boasts more than 300 graduates. In recent years, the Board has placed an added emphasis on homeless individuals with mental illness. As a result, H.O.M.E.S. is a Co-General Partner in the development of a 30-unit apartment complex in Midway City – the only program of its type in Orange County. Transitional and permanent housing is provided in six additional homes.
About Build It Green: GreenPoint Rated is a program of Build It Green, a professional non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient buildings in California. A GreenPoint Rated home is graded on five categories: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource conservation and water conservation. Green building offers homebuilders, community leaders and California residents sensible solutions that improve an individual home’s performance and provide broad-based community benefits. These benefits range from cleaner air to reduced traffic congestion, from more appealing recreational opportunities to greater economic vitality. Developments designed to reduce dependence on cars help ease traffic congestion, which can improve business productivity.
About Jamboree: Founded in 1990, Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, broad-based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing for lower- income families and seniors throughout California. Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) is a 501 (c)(3) organization and a division of Jamboree Housing Corporation. Jamboree Housing is Orange County’s leading nonprofit developer with a portfolio that includes the development of and/or ownership interest in more than 5,000 affordable rental apartment homes in more than 35 California communities. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services are offered at 24 JHC communities with designated staff at each location. More information is available on the company’s Web sites at www.jamboreehousing.com and www.housingwithheart.org.