It took three years from concept through construction until homeless services agency (LAFH) could begin recruiting tenants for its Palo Verde apartments in Sun Valley. This is the agency’s first permanent supportive housing project for low-income, formerly or chronically homeless adults and those living with mental illness.
A couple of hundred supporters attended the grand opening, held in the Gonzales Goodale-designed building’s xeriscaped yet lush courtyard featuring its namesake trees. Light refreshments were served in an atmosphere of celebration.
LAFH President and CEO Stephanie Klasky-Gamer welcomed donors, board members, government officials and development partners and congratulated them on their accomplishment.
“We recognized that the folks living here will remain more successful, more stable in their housing, if they had services that they could easily access on-site.”
The property comprises 60 private rental apartments. Like most apartment buildings there are laundry and trash facilities on every floor. Better than many apartment buildings, there are balconies in all the common areas, a community kitchen, a lounge, a conference room and a computer center. Integrated among the apartments are offices for a recovery specialist, a mental health counselor and a self-sufficiency coordinator. (Patch was at the .)
The multimillion-dollar development required the cooperation of numerous government agencies, public officials and private contractors, all of whom were acknowledged at the ceremony.
Beyond the value to its individual residents, Palo Verde can be viewed as an asset to the local community. The building is topped by solar panels, which provide more than 40 percent of its power. The construction has received Gold LEED Certification.
“L.A. Family Housing is really dedicated to preserving our natural resources,” Klasky-Gamer told me. A large factor in earning the certification was the agency’s “commitment to community education, and using the building as a model for others to come and tour.”
I took a tour along with a dozen or so others; you can come too by watching the video. We looked at a few apartments, including Jim’s, who’d spent the last few years in transitional housing on skid row. Now he rides the bus to his part-time job.
Self-sufficiency coordinator Danielle Ward-Gee talked to us about what she and her co-workers contribute to the tenants’ quality of life. And you can join me for a one-on-one chat with Klasky-Gamer.