SOURCE: American Family Housing

American Family Housing

June 28, 2016 14:20 ET

American Family Housing Provides Hope for Homeless Veterans; Breaks Ground on Unique Potter's Lane Housing Development

New 16-Unit Housing Complex Marks a New Approach to Tackling Homelessness

MIDWAY CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 28, 2016) - American Family Housing (AFH) -- a nonprofit organization dedicated to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness -- held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 24th to unveil its newest project in Midway City, Calif., Potter's Lane. The eco-friendly housing project will provide permanent housing for chronically homeless veterans utilizing GrowthPoint Structures, whose innovative construction methods will upcycle steel shipping containers to create 16 beautiful 480-square-foot living spaces designed to complement the surrounding environment. The project is the first permanent supportive multi-family housing project developed with modified steel structures to house homeless veterans.

"We're overjoyed to break ground on the sixteen Potter's Lane residences which will provide a safe space for homeless veterans," said AFH president and CEO Donna Gallup, whose organization will also provide comprehensive wrap-around services to help veterans achieve stability and self-sufficiency. "Tackling veteran homelessness requires a new way of thinking, with an emphasis on building a platform from which people can better manage mental illness and lost dignity. Complexes such as Potter's Lane are the right step because they first provide a supportive housing environment and then trained individuals can help the homeless move forward with their lives."

Potter's Lane is intended to alleviate some of the challenges facing homeless veterans including the nearly fifty percent that struggle with mental illness and the more than seventy percent with substance abuse problems.

While Orange County and Los Angeles have made great strides with the provision of some 4,000 units of permanent housing for the homeless, an additional 5,000 are needed. Although many areas are experiencing decreases in the numbers of homeless veterans, Southern California is seeing an unsettling and unacceptable increase. Potter's Lane has the potential to increase the speed to market by providing a solution to increase access to affordable permanent housing without the long development cycles associated with conventional site-built construction and financing, increasing sustainability and energy efficiency, and creating opportunities to leverage scarce resources.

"Potter's Lane will become a model for not only Southern California but for nationwide communities because it is results-oriented and an easily duplicated and cost-effective construction project," says Gallup.

The groundbreaking ceremony included tours of an example modular unit and keynote speakers Donna Gallup, AFH CEO and president; Andrew Do, Supervisor, First District, Orange County Board of Supervisors; and Lauren Ellermeyer, AFH board member. Orange County's long-time activist and recently appointed homeless czar, Susan Price, was also in attendance to share her support. The event aimed to solicit community and capital campaign support.

The Potter's Lane design team includes American Family Housing, GrowthPoint Structures, SVA Architects, Inc., J's Engineering & Construction Co., Volunteers of America National Services (VOANS), Del Amo Construction, James Dockstader Landscape Architect, Community Development Partners and LCY Designs. The project has already garnered two PCBC Merit Awards in the categories, "Best on the Boards Multifamily Community-Up to 50 du/ac" and "Building Industry Community Spirit Award."

The development is primarily funded by major supporters including Federal Home Loan Bank, The Home Depot Foundation, Presbytery of Los Ranchos, Pacific Premier Bank, U.S. Bank, California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), California Department of Veteran Affairs (Cal Vet), and the County of Orange Community Services and Housing Authority.

Ongoing rental assistance and supportive services will be provided via the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH) administered by the Federal Departments Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

American Family Housing is actively seeking additional sponsors and donors for its ongoing capital campaign. Corporate or individual naming opportunities are still available for the individual tenant residences and a variety of common spaces including patios, gardens and other areas.

For more information or with interest in getting involved, visit us at www.afhusa.org/potterslane or call (714) 897-3221.

ABOUT AMERICAN FAMILY HOUSING: Founded in 1985, American Family Housing (AFH) is a nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of housing and a broad spectrum of services to vulnerable populations facing barriers to achieving housing stability, including war veterans and adults with disabilities and mental illness. Operating 63 housing sites, with 283 units that serve more than 1,300 adults and children each year in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, AFH is committed to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness, helping low-income families and adults achieve a self-sustaining way of life and become active members of their communities. Follow American Family Housing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and visit www.afhusa.org for more information.

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