California Developer Helps Homeless Veterans

Filed in Awards, Multifamily by on July 2, 2018 0 Comments
veterans village

El Monte Veterans Village. All photos courtesy Adrian Tiemans Photography.

An estimated 20-25% of the U.S. homeless population are military veterans. So in an effort to help a portion of the needy in the Los Angeles area, Mercy Housing California, a regional arm of the national nonprofit developer, created a plan and allocated the funding for El Monte Veterans Village.

The community’s 40 furnished studio units are now home to homeless military veterans in Los Angeles County.

The community was the winner in NAHB’s Pillars of the Industry Awards in the category of Best Military or Veterans Housing.

In addition to a private and secure place to live, the community offers its residents supportive services through a partnership with New Directions, a well-established nonprofit with 20 years of experience serving homeless veterans.

Services include case management, health and wellness programs, benefit claims assistance, legal services, substance abuse recovery support, job placement and social activities.

orchardTCA Architects designed the community to reflect the California Arts and Crafts style — sloping rooflines and clean trim — often seen in that part of the country.

The complex includes common areas such as a residents’ lobby and a room for table tennis, as well as a large community room for meetings, classes and other gatherings. That room opens to a courtyard with a fireplace, barbecue and ample seating.

There’s an onsite fruit orchard and vegetable garden as well. Residents can work in the garden and augment their meals with the fresh produce. An on-site composting facility turns waste into rich soil…and eventually, more produce.

Because disabilities are not uncommon in the homeless population, half of the studio units comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The rest comply with the guidelines for universal design per the California code, and can be made ADA accessible if additional ADA units are needed.

Entries are now open for the 2018 Pillars of the Industry Awards, honoring not just military housing but market-rate, affordable and luxury apartments, mixed-use and condominium projects.

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