Sacramento, Calif.—Mercy Housing California, the regional division of national nonprofit Mercy Housing Inc., announced the opening of its newest affordable housing community, Boulevard Court. Once a run-down 101-room motel, the new community will feature 37 studio and 37 one-bedroom apartments for disabled, formerly homeless individuals.
It’s very important to the people of Mercy Housing that Boulevard Court is able to help those in need.
“The approach of getting people housed in a permanent, independent environment, coupled with extensive support services, is the most likely path to end the cycle of homelessness,” Stephan Daues, regional director housing development, Mercy Housing California, tells MHN. “Once someone gets their basic needs meet, they are ready to start making positive changes in their lives. There are many successful examples of this housing-first, harm-reduction model. It is the one model of housing that we believe every community should provide to give folks an opportunity to be successful.”
Boulevard Court will include additional community space not part of the former Budget Inn (the original motel on the property), including a computer room, lounge, laundry room and a part-time Federal Qualified Health Center. According to a representative at Boulevard Courts, the rent will be 30 percent of the residents’ incomes.
To ensure that residents are able to maintain their housing while being able to have care for their disabilities, Mercy Housing partnered with local service providers The Effort and Turning Point Community Programs. The Effort provides medical care and specializes in clinics that treat substance abuse and mental health issues. Turning Point will also provide mental health services and programs for Boulevard Court residents.
“When you treat homelessness, you treat mental health,” Jonathan Porteus, CEO, The Effort, says. “People with mental health and substance abuse issues are much more respectful of their own property and others when they are living in their home. We strongly believe in this housing-first model. What is more likely to get you in treatment: sitting in a tarp down by the river with a crack pipe, or sitting in your apartment near a counselor?”