HCD programs have a significant impact on communities. The general practice is to quantify this effect, in numbers, dollars, and units. Perhaps a more compelling way to explore HCD’s successes is through the voices of the individuals and families who have lived them.
From farmworkers to seniors to single moms, these residents of the Golden State tell their stories about how their lives have been transformed, thanks to HCD and its partners.
Visitors from all over the world enjoy the attractions and carefree beauty of Lake Tahoe. But for thousands of year-round low-income residents who live and work in Lake Tahoe and other tourist destinations, affordability is a day-to-day worry.
That’s exactly why HCD helped create King’s Beach Housing, an affordable workforce housing option for families like Jacklyn’s. “Everything just lined up. And we moved in here and ever since then, it’s been great.”
King’s Beach Housing provides low- income workers and families who previously lived in substandard converted motel rooms, cabins, and trailers with safe, energy-efficient places to live, all wrapped up in an affordable, practical package.
Jacklyn understands, and sums it up nicely, “We can function in society because of Kings Beach housing.”
Carla, her husband and four children have been living and thriving in a Mutual Housing affordable community in Sacramento since 2008.
Carla’s children have a strong sense of belonging in their tightly-knit community.
“They are so involved in our community. When they have friends over, they are so proud. The grounds were recently remodeled so my kids show them the new park and the landscaping. They’re just really excited about the things that are going on here.”
HCD’s funding for Mutual Housing helped build this affordable community, but didn’t stop there. Also included, were the supportive services that help build individuals.
“We have a computer lab and afterschool tutoring. In the summer they have girl scouts and a club, so girls are more in tune with loving themselves and having self-confidence and awareness.”
Carla understands what her family needs to be whole. And HCD is happy to help.
Crystal, her twin sister, and her mother and father live at Buena Vista, one of HCD’s seasonal migrant farmworker housing centers. After moving through a series of crowded motel rooms for most of her early life, Crystal still remembers the excitement of waking up in her own home at Buena Vista back in 2004.
“The first thing my sister and I did when we woke up was we went running to the front window. We looked out and we saw kids playing outside. We got really excited.”
HCD provides grants to local government agencies to operate Buena Vista and 23 other migrant farmworker centers across California. These grants help to keep rents low, so that families like Crystal’s can focus on the future. And, due in part to their safe, comfortable and affordable home at Buena Vista Migrant Center, their future is looking bright.
The Sacramento Senior Safe House serves as a comfortable and healing atmosphere for abused and neglected seniors. HCD’s funding helped build this safe haven for seniors who are recovering from real-life nightmares.
John is one of those seniors. He was hospitalized after being beaten so badly that he lost his sight in one eye.
Before Sacramento Senior Safe House was created, John and other abused seniors like him would have been placed in less-than- ideal temporary quarters like motels or hospitals, and may have continued to be dependent on those who had abused them.
“Everything got a lot better when I came here. I didn’t have to worry anymore,” says John. After their physical wounds have healed, vulnerable seniors are able to mend psychologically in the loving refuge of Sacramento Senior Safe House, funded in part by HCD.
By the summer of 2014, California’s drought affected just about everyone. Some citizens, who were hit particularly hard, were the farmers and agricultural workers who grow, harvest, and process our fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Many of these men and women were working less, and in some cases losing their jobs.
Thomas was one of those individuals. “I was going to get evicted. I have four kids and we were going to be out on the streets.”
HCD helped develop a program aimed at serving agricultural workers like Thomas who needed quick rental assistance before they lost their homes. Thomas’s worries were lightened after his father told him about the program offered through HCD. Thomas applied for the rental assistance, received two months of rental and utility payments, and soon after that, found a new job at a friend’s car repair shop.
HCD is proud to have helped Thomas and nearly 18,000 other individuals to successfully keep their homes and maintain the stability of their families and communities.