Newest College-to-Career Housing on Clark Ave Nears Grand Opening
by IAN NEVAREZ
HOPE and its donors desire to empower young adults with developmental disabilities to attend college as a means to achieving their personal, academic, and professional goals. In an effort to increase our capacity to meet this objective, in 2016 HOPE purchased its newest College-to-Career (C2C) building for $1.6M with internal equity and financing through First Republic Bank.
The C2C program was launched in 2010 as a collaboration between Harbor Regional Center, California MENTOR, HOPE, and Long Beach City College (LBCC). It was designed to offer dorm-like housing near campus for students with special needs.
This new location, off of Clark Avenue in the Lakewood Village neighborhood of Long Beach, sits on a 17,000+ square foot lot that is a mere ½ mile walk from LBCC. This property’s charming courtyard layout includes two adjacent buildings that total eight units of housing. It will ultimately be home to 14 additional students, with one unit reserved as an onsite staff office.
Students enrolled in this program will receive a full range of both on-campus and residential supports. Staff members are available onsite and on campus, to provide additional academic counseling and assistance with independent living skills.
Dilworth Construction began renovations in the summer of 2016 when property improvements were ordered on the scale of more than $21K per unit. HOPE would like to offer a big thank you to California Mentor for partnering with us and providing $50K toward rehabilitation that has totaled more than $172K.
These property enhancements include new interior paint, kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, flooring, light fixtures, exterior paint, and landscaping. Plumbing and electrical elements were replaced as needed, and interior water heaters were relocated outside to open up additional kitchen space.
Beginning in December, new residents started moving into the building as each unit’s rehabilitation was completed. The construction phase of this project will be finished in March, just in time to allow the final group of new C2C students to move in prior to summer sessions.
Creating this much needed housing would not have been possible without financial support from our donors and community partners. HOPE wishes to offer a special thank you to Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation that contributed $10K and US Bank Foundation that contributed $5K toward renovations. Also, we must offer a final thank you to California Mentor that, beyond their generous contributions to the construction costs of this property, also furnished beds, dressers, tables, chairs, couches, and appliances for each unit.
With renovations near completion, a grand opening celebration for our newest C2C location will be scheduled for mid-May. Please consider joining us at this event as a very special naming ceremony will be held to honor two longtime benefactors of HOPE, Colleen Mock and Mercedes Lowery. We are certain that this housing will serve as a solid foundation for its residents to accomplish their academic goals and begin their journies toward adulthood.
If you are interested in supporting our C2C program and would like to help fund future HOPE homes, please consider purchasing an engraved brick through our Pave it Forward campaign here. Your donation will create a lasting memory of your support for HOPE’s mission