On April 29, 2013, Mercy Housing California will take an important step with local and federal officials and celebrate the opening of a new affordable community for low-income and formerly homeless residents in downtown Sacramento. 7th & H’s new 150 studio and one-bedroom apartments is a key component of the city and county’s effort to end chronic homelessness, provides essential living options to the budding downtown workforce, and represents a vision for one of the largest redevelopment areas in the country.
The dedication will be well-attended by stakeholders including Congresswoman Doris Matsui to highlight this much-needed first residential development in the Railyards as a solid addition to the long-term solutions available to serve Sacramento’s most vulnerable populations.
“The opening of Mercy Housing’s 7th & H Street development is a welcome addition to Sacramento’s downtown. With comprehensive residential services and WellSpace Health’s Tom Gagen Community Health Center, Mercy Housing and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency are helping to address our region’s affordable housing shortage while providing services to those most in need,” says Congresswoman Matusi.
The mixed-use community is designed around a 5,000 square foot Federally Qualified Health Center on the ground floor operated by Well-Space Health, formerly the Effort, to serve the residents of 7th and H and the surrounding community. With the boom of restaurants, entertainment, and attractions, the housing in the area has struggled to meet the growing need and has instead increasingly scarce and prohibitively expensive. 7th and H provides an opportunity to create a better balance between jobs and available housing, thus decreasing the need for workers to commute long distances from far-flung suburbs. The bold addition of homes creates a more vibrant and alive downtown, an energized streetscape, and takes advantage of the proximity to commonly used amenities and mass transit—a strategic plan in helping Sacramento’s downtown realize its full potential.
“When I was elected Mayor, one of my main focuses was to take care of those with the least. Mercy Housing continues to help these efforts. Offering 150 affordable homes downtown will help people get a fresh start. It will also strengthen our city as we continue to redevelop Downtown Sacramento into the cultural and economic hub it should be,” says Kevin Johnson, Mayor of the City of Sacramento.
Mercy Housing leads the management and provision of blended services through a multi-disciplinary team in collaboration with well-established local service providers, WellSpace Health and Turning Point Community Programs to provide a comprehensive range of services that cater to the whole person. For the 75 formerly homeless residents at 7th and H, individualized supportive plans connect residents to resources for substance abuse, treatment monitoring, and reintegration. The design of the building with ample common areas to encourage socialization and provide spaces for services is also planned to connect residents with on-site resources and coordinates with programs available through Well-Space.
The innovative partnership recognizes the valuable link between health and housing and is demonstrated growth between Mercy Housing and WellSpace Health. As a service provider at other Mercy Housing locations, WellSpace health provides health screenings and prevention education. At 7th & H, WellSpace Health will operate a state of the art facility intended to be a community resource—a maturation of the partnership and an acknowledgement of the success of previous models.
About Mercy Housing California
Mercy Housing California (MHC) is the largest regional division of national nonprofit Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), headquartered in Denver and founded in 1981 with the mission to create stable, vibrant, and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.
To date, with a presence in 44 states, MHI has developed, preserved and financed more than 39,000 affordable homes nationwide, both rental and single family, serving more than 135,000 adults and children on any given day.
In addition Esparto Family Apartments and a number of other projects in development statewide, Mercy Housing California (MHC) has developed 125 rental properties across 36 counties serving low- and very low-income working poor families, senior citizens, persons who are homeless and people with disabilities and persons living with HIV/AIDS. To date, MHC has developed 10,654 affordable homes in California – 7,652 in rental and 3,002 in homeownership.
For more information about Mercy Housing, please visit mercyhousing.org.
About WellSpace Health, formerly the Effort
The mission of WellSpace Health is achieving regional health through high quality comprehensive care.
The vision of WellSpace Health is to build on and strengthen our Core Values, while providing exemplary services through innovative strategies to achieve financial self-sufficiency within two years. By becoming self-sufficient, we will be able to attract and retain highly talented people, continually improve the levels of service we provide, and be a dynamic place where effective treatment is readily available to people who need it.
WellSpace Health is the result of a merger between two Sacramento social service agencies. Family Service Agency historically provided child and family therapy, crisis intervention, and violence prevention. WellSpace Health provided primary health services and treatment of substance abuse. On October 1, 2005 these two agencies merged to create Sacramento’s single largest provider offering a full continuum of care for health, mental health, and addictions treatment.
For more information about WellSpace Health, please visit www.wellspacehealth.org.