Wakeland Opens New Supportive Housing Community in Downtown San Diego
by Wakeland Staff
September 20, 2019
SAN DIEGO - Forty-three formerly homeless San Diegans now have a place to call their own with the opening of The Beacon, Wakeland's newest development.
On Sept. 20, 2019, elected officials, project partners and funders joined our team to celebrate the grand opening of the new supportive housing community, which is designed for people who have experienced homelessness.
"I'm often asked, 'Can we end homelessness?' And the answer is 'Yes, we can, and this is how we do it,' '' said Assemblymember Todd Gloria at the grand opening ceremony. "The Beacon's formula of permanent, supportive housing - providing housing that people can afford along with the wraparound services that help residents stay housed - is how we can end the embarrassment that is homelessness in the City of San Diego."
Residents moved into the 44-apartment community (with 43 rentals and 1 manager's unit) at the beginning of September and many have already experienced successes such as starting new jobs and reconnecting with family members.
"In the very short time that I have been here it's given me the opportunity to live independently," said resident Robert J.* "It allows me privacy and, more importantly, it allows me to remove the 'homeless' from my name."
Designed by M.W. Steele Group and built by Allgire General Contractors, The Beacon has four stories of beautiful and functional homes above a ground floor lobby. A multipurpose community room on the fourth floor has a computer lab, counseling office and space for community gatherings and workshops. Each floor has contemporary public art displays and colorful décor to further enhance residents' living.
Wakeland's President and CEO Ken Sauder said, "The Beacon is really about bringing a sense of hope to residents. Those of us who have a home may not understand the factors that lead people to become homeless or how long the road is to get back to that feeling of safety and comfort that we take for granted. The Beacon is the place where they can start again."
Residents are supported at The Beacon by case managers from one of three providers - Father Joe's Villages, MHS CityStar or Pathways Catalyst - who connect them to services tailored to their unique needs. Services can include behavioral health support, care coordination, health & wellness workshops, skill-building classes and peer support.
Financing for The Beacon came from several sources, including low-income housing tax credits, Wells Fargo Bank, a loan and Project-Based Section 8 vouchers from the San Diego Housing Commission, funds from the California Community Reinvestment Corporation and CalHFA's Special Needs Housing Programs (administered by the County of San Diego Health and Human Service Agency Behavioral Health Services.)
Wakeland gives special thanks to the San Diego Housing Commission, the County of San Diego, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, ConAm Management Corporation and Wakeland's Supportive Housing Director Tricia Tasto Levien for their exceptional coordination on the lease up, allowing us to move in 41 residents within 3 days of finishing construction.
*Resident name changed to respect privacy