ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, November 6th, 2016 – Several families are still finding it hard to believe that they now have a place to call home after living in tents, motels, and in some cases, their vehicles.
On Tuesday, a much-anticipated grand opening was held for a unique apartment complex in Anaheim, California that accommodates residents with limited incomes. Funded by a Bank of America tax credit investment with additional financing and funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mental Health Services Act, this $32 million project features 70 units reserved for homeless families and for those living with disabilities and mental illness.
In addition to the high-end American craftsman style architecture, and spaciously sized units, what makes this complex so unique is the social services and other resources available on site that are provided to residents for free. The end goal is to help families transition out of homelessness and provide needed support for those with disabilities and mental illness.
“Everything is still so new for us,” Ronda Gordon, a 49-year-old who lives with epilepsy, said while sitting in her new apartment. I can’t believe I have a kitchen,” she said. “Even just waking up next to my husband in a separate room without the kids is a new experience.”
A series of unfortunate events led to the Gordon family’s homelessness, starting with Harry Gordon’s workplace accident at a power plant, which left him on permanent disability.
The complex also features a basketball court, barbecue grill, fitness stations, and two Play & Park Structures playgrounds, installed on the second-floor deck, which accommodates both 2-5 and 5-12-year-old children. “We are so honored to have been selected for such a meaningful project” said Michele Chandler, Director of Marketing for Play & Park Structures. “Engaging in play helps children to gain self-confidence and increase self-esteem. Play is also thought to reduce or eliminate symptoms of stress and depression, and is an effective way to help children work through issues they face.”
Both of the new playgrounds include multiple slides and climbing activities designed to provide physical activity and socialization opportunities. Large, integrated canopies afford shelter from the California sun, and unitary surfacing provides a protective cushioning around the entire play space.
Other resources available to residents include after-school tutoring, clinical services, career development and more.