Like so many communities in the Sacramento Valley, Woodland (Yolo County) started out as a farming community, but over time its convenient access to Sacramento made it a desirable place to live, which led to an increase in the price of housing. In fact, since 2000, Woodland has had one of the highest percentage increases in property value in the nation. For many working families, this makes finding a place to live in Woodland increasingly difficult.
Mercy Housing and Yolo County Housing responded to this need by partnering together to develop a new community, 80 garden-style apartment homes distributed among fifteen colorful buildings.
The buildings are laid out spaciously across the site, connected by pathways and surrounded by restful landscaping. One thing that makes this community so special is that it fits so well into the existing quiet residential neighborhood. The architectural scale of the buildings and cheerful design blends smoothly with the homes already in place.
Not only do the buildings blend physically, but they also exemplify Mercy Housing’s economically integrated approach to serving homeless families, by setting aside 32 of the new homes as permanent supportive housing. The importance of creating supportive housing outside of larger cities is not lost on residents or staff.
Tammi and Carina, who work in Resident Services at Mercy Housing, describe the emotional family reunifications they have witnessed. Many of the families moving into West Beamer Place are formerly homeless, which means the parents often ended up sleeping in a different location from their children. When they lost their homes, parents moved into shelters or slept in their cars while their children stayed with family or friends. As hard as it was to separate from their kids, parents did not want their children to experience life in a shelter or risk the danger of sleeping in a car. Now these same families are reunited safely under the same roof.