Lauren Young still remembers being homeless, particularly the anxiety of not knowing where she and her four children would spend the night or which school they should go to. The Young family has been residents of Rockwood Apartments in Anaheim for more than a year – a year in which her children are able to attend the same school (and are receiving straight A’s), know all their teachers, and make lots of friends. Lauren is proud to celebrate her 12th year of sobriety here at Rockwood. She is now in school to become a drug and alcohol counselor.
Lauren’s story of stability is just one example of why Permanent Supportive Housing works. But, what is Permanent Supportive Housing? For particularly vulnerable populations such as the homeless, housing is an important first step. However, housing alone is not enough. Imagine finally having housing but being without the previously relied upon homeless community for support or without help on how to stay housed? Services are a vital component of continuing housing’s initial success. The combination of housing AND services create viable solutions to permanently end homelessness.
Lauren is one face among many at Rockwood who are proving that the combination of housing and services is a solution to homelessness. Opened in November 2016, Rockwood is an innovative multifamily development that, 18 months later, remains fully leased by 245 residents, 48 formerly homeless families and 15 residents living with mental illness.
With growing public concern about California’s housing crisis, the media is full of news about what’s not working. Rockwood is an example of what is working... Permanent Supportive Housing (or housing PLUS supportive resident services). Both elements are necessary to ensure residents succeed in breaking the cycle of homelessness. “I love having my own place with my daughter and not having to live with someone else. Now I have a job, and I got a car. I’m so thankful,” says Julie Du Sablon, single mom.
Services include after-school programs that offer academic enrichment, men’s and women’s groups focused on life skills and self-care, financial recovery and parent empowerment classes, as well as healthy cooking and gardening. Kids Creating Change is a Family Justice Center program that helps kids learn to manage conflict resolution and anger management.
Jamboree also has Licensed Clinical Social Workers available 24/7 to assist residents with emotional and mental health issues, transportation, securing benefits, crisis intervention, substance abuse counselingto link residents to clinical services, and to address other challenges residents may face that are outside the scope of our onsite Resident Services Coordinator.
These life-enhancing programs are provided through extensive community partnerships. Together with our co-developer Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO), an onsite Resident Services Coordinator works with local service providers to offer helpful and educational activities. These partners include Western Youth Services, Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Orange County Healthcare Agency, Operation Bless, Family Justice Center, and the Anaheim Central Library, who all work to support, educate, and equip residents to live successfully.
Another community partner, Bruno Serato, owner of the Anaheim White House, serves meals twice a week to approximately 30 people at Rockwood, a generous donation that equates to 3,120 meals served each year.
Additionally, in conjunction with UC Irvine, Jamboree is hosting Women Advancing Through Technology (WATT) as a way to help lead under-employed and unemployed women to increased knowledge and interest in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) careers. Classes introduce them to digital coding and web design, meet twice a week for eight weeks and include entrepreneurship workshops and job placement services provided by local nonprofit CIELO. To support this program, Jamboree offers transportation and childcare for participating residents, as well as providing breakfast and lunch every day for participants and their families. Nearly 100 women are participating from Jamboree properties in Anaheim, Buena Park, and Irvine.
There really is a way to #EndHomelessnessOC permanently. Rockwood’s approach focuses on helping residents achieve and maintain housing stability, improved health and increased financial stability. IHO also offers Economic Self Reliance™ (ESR), a financial empowerment program that helps residents develop skills that provide stability to maximize income and leverage savings into financial security, eventually becoming self-reliant and able to transition to market-rate housing.
Rockwood resident Roberta Hernandez, a single mom of three kids who was formerly homeless, sums it up this way. “You can focus on your goals because you have a home.”
Jamboree frequently schedules property tours of Rockwood for developers, civic leaders, municipal staff and community service groups. If you’re interested in seeing first-hand how Permanent Supportive Housing works, email us to schedule a property tour.