Long Beach key player in homeless village
“As a people of God, our priority will be fulfillment of the Great Commission, beginning right in the community where he has placed us.”
New programs dedicated
by Shayne Schroeder –
The Villages at Cabrillo, a $20 million housing and rehabilitation campus in Long Beach, Calif.,–the largest combination residential/social services program in the country–recently had its grand opening. The 26-acre facility will provide nearly 1000 beds of housing for homeless veterans, families and youth.
Participating in the ceremonies were Miss America 2000, Heather French; Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Hershel Gober; Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, the Honorable Harry Pregerson. Actor Gregory Peck also offered congratulations.
The Long Beach Corps, under the leadership of Corps Officers Majors Jim and (Dr.) Sally Ann Hood, will be one of the key players at the site, the former home of the Cabrillo/Savannah naval housing area.
“We’re going to be responsible for the one building in which we will be doing transitional housing,” said Jon Silver Feather, Long Beach Corps director/community liaison. “We’ll be housing approximately 16 families there. We will not be getting families from off the street, but we will be taking them from different shelters. Our goal is to get them back into the community.”
Along with the Army, other organizations offering on-site services include Catholic Charities, Long Beach City College, the Long Beach Unified School District, 1736 Family Crisis (a battered women’s group), and LA Vets/US Vets.
The project is scheduled to be completed in five to six years. Of the 1,000 beds, 550 will be reserved for homeless vets. With no drop-in services, the majority of referrals to the facility will come from the VA hospital in East Long Beach. Veterans make up an estimated 30 percent of Los Angeles County’s homeless population of approximately 80,000, including 3,000 in the Long Beach area.
Among the services being offered are employment counseling and job training, money management, substance abuse treatment, and medical and psychological treatment.
It cost about $15 million to refurbish the old Navy housing area, according to Stephen Peck, program director with the L.A. Vets/U.S. Vets. In addition, it will cost between $5-6 million annually to run the facility. Initially, funding will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), state and county, as well as private contributions.
As a people of God, our priority will be fulfillment of the Great Commission, beginning right in the community where he has placed us.