WHO: Jamboree Housing Corporation, a leading nonprofit housing developer in California; The Home Depot Foundation, philanthropic arm of The Home Depot, that’s committed a quarter of a billion dollars to veteran-related causes since 2011, and Chase Wickersham, Orange County Veterans Advisory Council and Jamboree partner
WHAT: Award of $500,000 Home Depot Foundation Grant Funds to support construction of affordable housing for formerly homeless veterans in Orange County
WHERE: The new community will be developed on a vacant, blighted 1.61-acre site located at the southwest corner of West First Street and Kenton Drive in Santa Ana.
WHY: While more than 700 veterans live in Jamboree properties across California, this is Jamboree’s first dedicated property for veterans struggling with homelessness and a range of other challenges. The grant highlights Jamboree’s first property dedicated exclusively for veterans, and underscores the nonprofit developer’s vision that every person will live in a strong, healthy, sustainable community. By bringing together partner agencies, Santa Ana Veterans Village will be a hub of enriched programming and activities to support the veterans living here with employment, health and other special services.
According to the 2015 U.S. Census, approximately 123,000 veterans live in Orange County, and in 2017, a survey of Orange County’s homeless population found that 12% of the homeless were veterans. Without employment, finding affordable housing is next to impossible, especially in Orange County, the sixth most expensive urban area in which to live throughout the United States.
Additionally, Permanent Supportive Housing for those who are homeless – and who may struggle with a variety of disabilities and other challenges – includes supportive services to ensure the residents remain housed and avoid a return to homelessness. This strategy is a proven, cost-effective solution to housing those struggling with homelessness. As a result of decreases in service utilization and criminal justice contacts, the estimated average annual cost of services in Orange County is 40% lower for the chronically homeless living in permanent supportive housing ($51,587) compared to the chronically homeless living on the streets and in emergency shelters ($85,631). Based on this study conducted by UC Irvine and funded by Jamboree and United Way Orange County, Santa Ana Veterans Village has the potential to save Orange County more than $2.5 million in emergency services, unnecessary hospitalizations and other expenses annually by providing 76 homeless veterans with housing.
HOW: The new Santa Ana Veterans Village is slated to begin construction later this year and is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for Homes-certified Gold rating. This lowers energy consumption, provides a cost-saving benefit to and promotes the health of residents. It will comply with Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and will adhere to the provisions of the California Building Code for accessibility. Veterans will receive ongoing support through services and programs provided by a collaboration of partners and service providers such as Step Up on Second, Goodwill of Orange County’s Tierney Center for Veterans Services, the Veterans Legal Institute, and Strength in Support. Jamboree has developed more than 100 units that provide permanent homes with services to the chronically homeless who have a mental health condition, and is currently the largest developer and supportive services provider for Orange County residents suffering from homelessness and living with mental illness. The Home Depot Foundation’s support will help construct a long-lasting affordable home for low-income veterans.
ABOUT THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION: The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap, and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested a quarter of a billion dollars in veteran-related causes and improved more than 40,000 veteran homes and facilities in 2,500 cities. In 2018, the Foundation committed an additional $50 million dollars to train 20,000 skilled tradespeople over the next 10 years starting with separating military members and veterans, at-risk youth and members of the Atlanta Westside community. To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation and see Team Depot in action, visit thd.co/community and follow the Foundation on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram at @teamdepot and on Facebook at facebook.com/teamdepot.