With shovels full of dirt, Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley and its community partners began building hope and dreams in Newhall on Monday.
“We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emergency shelter and support services for local families experiencing homelessness,” said Laurie Ender, past board president of the nonprofit. “About six years ago, four years into our operation, it became clear that the biggest gap in our programming … was housing, specifically bridge or transitional housing.”
On Monday, the nonprofit and community leaders gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of Building Hope: Our Family Promise, a new transitional house that signals the closing of those gaps.
“Every time that you drive past this, you will see that another piece of hope and dreams is being built here in Santa Clarita,” said Executive Director Roché Vermaak. “We don’t want to just address homelessness — we want to solve family homelessness.”
Approved by the Santa Clarita Planning Commission in June, the project is set to comprise four 815-square-foot affordable housing units for low-income and homeless families with children, along with an emergency overnight unit, and a dedicated 2,700-square-foot resource center on land donated by the city of Santa Clarita.
Family Promise has partnered with the city of Santa Clarita, Williams Homes and HomeAid Los Angeles for the project, giving families the opportunity to stay housed for three to nine months while they save money to secure permanent housing.
The program’s resource center is also set to help families with systemic issues, such as unhealthy eating, not only providing them with groceries and meals, but also teaching them how to cook and eat healthy, as well as sufficient office space to allow for a place where both children and parents can come and work with consistent WiFi and volunteers to help tutor.
“It is one valley and one vision, and the vision is that no family, no individual, should languish on the streets,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the SCV. “So, what Family Promise is doing is taking us one step toward addressing this crisis, not only in L.A. County but across this nation.”
Barger also noted that Family Promise’s work is not waiting for this building to be completed, as “each and every day you are making a difference in the lives of so many.”
While a portion of the building costs are expected to be donated by Williams Homes and the building community, the organization needs to raise an additional $2.6 million to complete the project.
Family Promise is calling on the community, businesses and congregations to help them raise the capital and help provide a lasting solution for homeless families in the SCV.
Building Hope: Our Family Promise, located at 23652 Newhall Ave., is expected to be completed in early 2023. For more information on Family Promise, visit familypromisescv.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (661) 251-2867.