We go into their home and we teach them how to cook, budget and shop. We teach them how to launder their clothes. We teach them how to take the bus, and how to get back and forth to different things in the community.
I think personally it would give me a great feeling to know that Beth had a place she could call her home long after we were gone -- and I know that is true of other parents that we know.
The neatest thing about living in my own place is cause I love it here... I can do things on my own.
My dream was always living in a house and I got that dream, and I made that dream come true.
I really like it. This is the best place I ever lived, and my Dad was so happy when we found out about this program and found this place.
On Wednesday, June 15th, the California Legislature passed a $122 billion budget for 2016-2017. Several key programs were funded that address affordable housing and homelessness in our state.
This is welcome news as Sacramento’s Legislative Analyst’s Office recently released its second report in 12 months, “Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing.” In it, Mac Taylor echoes what organizers, elected officials, the business sector, and community members have known for years, that “California has a serious housing shortage. California’s housing costs, consequently, have been rising rapidly for decades. These high housing costs make it difficult for many Californians to find housing that is affordable and that meets their needs, forcing them to make serious trade–offs in order to live in California.”
Efforts to advocate for affordable housing at our Capital are championed by Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH) and Housing California. While there is still work to be done around initiatives like No Place Like Home (NPLH), funding to support the below programs is a positive step in the right direction.
California Emergency Solutions Grants: $45 million to focus on funding rapid re-housing programs throughout California.
Bringing Families Homes: $10 million to fund and create a program that connects homeless and formerly incarcerated parents with children in foster care in safe, stable, and affordable homes.
CalWORKs Housing Support Program: $47 million, an increase of $12 million, to fund the rapid re-houses homeless families with children.
State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC): Program encourages the investment of private equity in the development of affordable rental housing for low-income household. This is the cost to the state for the process in SB 873(Beall).
No Place Like Home (NPLH): $2 Billion Mental Health Services (MHSA) Bond provides funds for $45 million one-time funding for Emergency Solutions Grants to fund rapid-rehousing activities throughout the state.
This is good news for housing in California. Although the Budget Bill was passed by the legislation, NPLH will be decided and voted on after the passage of the budget. This proposal allocates a small percentage of Proposition 63 (2004) funding to finance permanent supportive housing specifically for those who live with a serious mental illness and live on the streets. The Senate and Assembly both need 2/3 of the members to vote in favor for it to pass.
Deaka McClain aspires to a career in public service. So when she heard about a community forum in her neighborhood that featured two leading political candidates speaking on an issue she cares about-- the pressing need for affordable housing-- she was eager to register. The morning of the event though, Deaka felt under the weather and reluctantly called her contact at HOPE to tell them she most likely would miss the event.
For many years now Deaka has used her strengths and passion for public service to tirelessly advocate on behalf of vulnerable populations in her community. But maybe a break from her activism for one night was in order.
Deaka has lived in a HOPE home since 2001. So naturally that particular evening she wanted to show her support for an issue that is close to her heart. "For me to have my own place means peace of mind and independence," Deaka said.
“I sit on the Client Advisory Committee at Harbor Regional Center, and recently we talked about the challenges that people with disabilities are facing in finding affordable housing…that if you are not with HOPE, the rent is too expensive. You know we have some clients that are homeless because they can’t afford market rent?”
It is trademark Deaka that even though she has access to affordable housing through HOPE, her concern is with others who do not. That is because she knows how challenging the issue has been in her own life.
“When we were having this discussion,” she continued, “It made me think about how fortunate I am to say that I live in a HOPE home. Everyone doesn’t have that opportunity, and I realize that actually, HOPE saved my life.”
Prior to moving in with HOPE, Deaka bounced between different family members’ homes. She stayed for a while with in-laws during her marriage. Unfortunately that living situation deteriorated and became unhealthy. After her divorce, Deaka was forced to look for other options. She quickly became discouraged as it was all too apparent that someone with her resources had few options in finding a safe, stable, and affordable home.
She is grateful that around that time Harbor Regional Center introduced her to HOPE. In a matter of six months Deaka was given the chance to move into a HOPE home. She said, “If I hadn’t been given that opportunity, I know I wouldn’t have the life I have today.”
She feels that because she received stable, affordable housing she no longer stressed about where she would sleep each night. For the first time in many years this allowed her to focus on school.
“Before I moved into a HOPE home, I couldn’t even think about school,” she said. “I was so worried about my home life. That all changed. I was now free to go to school and get my work done.”
Just last month Deaka received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from CSULB. Though her education is a reward in and of itself, she has parlayed this achievement into her advocacy work in the community. Deaka has sat on the boards and committees of several public service organizations.
She has been a member of the Harbor Regional Center’s Client Advisory Committee, Client Services Committee, and Self Determination Committee. She has also sat on the City of Long Beach’s Citizens Advisory Commission on Disabilities, LA CARE’s Health Care Advisory Committee, Disability Rights of California’s Program and Planning Committee, and California State University’s Systemwide Advisory Committee on Services for Students with Disabilities.
“It worked out for me,” Deaka admitted, “but everyone isn’t fortunate like that. HOPE provided me a place to stay, but it also provides me a place to stay within the means of my income. If I was to move today, I couldn’t afford to live in a regular studio.”
Deaka ended up attending the community forum after all. She sat toward the front the auditorium and heard the candidates give their visions of a Los Angeles County that is moving toward an end to homelessness and creating greater access to affordable housing.
When asked about her attendance at the event, in spite of being sick. All she could say was, “This is where I need to be.”
HOPE is proud to have co-chaired the planning committee for the Long Beach Affordable Housing Developers Roundtable that took place on April 7th. This event was organized in partnership with Long Beach Housing and RTLB. Turnout was excellent, with representatives from many major affordable housing organizations, including Century Housing, Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles, LINC Housing, Jamboree Housing, and Abode Communities. Former Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal spoke and discussed Mayor Garcia's task force on housing and homelessness in which she chairs. The purpose of this roundtable is to create an environment that fosters collaboration, secures additional resources, creates innovative development models, promotes good policy, and educates the public on how affordable homes are essential to the health and economic success of our city. HOPE is excited to be a part of the conversation!
HOPE is thrilled to be a contributing member of the Coalition for a Just LA. Since January this diverse group of nonprofit organizations has joined together to coordinate a candidate’s forum for the Los Angeles County District 4 supervisorial seat being vacated by Don Knabe who terms out after 20 years of public service. The election is taking place on June 7th and this is a great opportunity for HOPE to contribute to raising awareness of topics that affect our mission and also to begin a dialogue with the candidates Janice Hahn and Steve Napolitano. “It’s exciting to be a part of an initiative that will help inform the voting public and engage the candidates on issues critical to the communities we serve and that are overseen by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” say Ian Nevarez, Manager of Community Relation at HOPE.
The critical need for affordable housing will be addressed as a primary segment of the forum, along with discussions on homelessness, re-entry and recovery, health for all, seniors, and the environment. HOPE has been instrumental in framing the affordable housing component of the event. We are also excited to invite our friends, family, residents, donors, volunteers, colleagues, and business partners to support our efforts and to come hear from the candidates running to be our newest District 4 County Supervisor.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
6:00 Doors Open
6:30 Program Begins
First Congregational Church
241 Cedar Ave, Long Beach, CA
A Coalition for a Just LA: South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness, LINC Housing, MoveLA, ICO, Path Ventures, NAMI, Empact, LA Voice, CSH, NAMI, Whittier First Day, Century Village at Cabrillo, A New Way of Life, SCANPH, HOPE Inc., and Homeboy Industries.
On April 7th, Executive Director, Kristin Martin had the opportunity to discuss affordable housing with U.S. Congresswoman Linda Sánchez and Mayor Mike Mendez of Norwalk. The special occasion that brought these leaders together was a ceremony in which Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, who represents California's 39th Congressional District, presented a 2015 Congressional Recognition of Excellence Award to the City of Norwalk for their collaboration with HOPE on developing four stable and affordable homes for people with developmental disabilities.
We were honored to be invited by the city to share in the celebration! More so, we are proud of our ability to support the lives of our residents in taking even greater strides toward self reliance and engagement in the community. Housing is often times a critical step in this process, and HOPE is energized to continue our mission of providing stable and affordable homes to those with developmental disabilities. Our properties off of Fairford, Maidstone, Flatbush and Thornlake in Norwalk are excellent examples of this effort.