Successfully housing formerly homeless in Orange County
Diamond Apartment Homes is an award-winning, pioneering multifamily development in Anaheim, CA that provides both permanent housing and mental health supportive services for previously homeless individuals and their families. In line with the Housing First national best practice and rapid re-housing, all residents are previously classified as homeless and diagnosed with chronic mental illness. For these residents, permanent housing is critical to providing stability and ongoing mental health services.
A first in housing to end homelessness
Built in 2009, Jamboree was the first developer to successfully build the first Permanent Supportive Housing development funded by California's Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). In 2019, amid heightened awareness for the need to #EndHomelessnessOC with positive solutions that work, Diamond demonstrates Permanent Supportive Housing that's a long-term success.
A place for services that support stability
Integral to the success of Diamond Is the inclusion of fully funded, ongoing supportive services – delivered with a “whatever it takes” approach – that enables residents to live in supportive housing with a stable environment. Telecare Corporation, the OC Health Care Agency’s mental health services partner, provides residents with 24/7 availability – including clinical case management – for support of daily living activities and links them to other supportive and independent living services.
Additionally, Jamboree’s Community Impact Group offers free, non-clinical, resident services and programs tailored to meet the needs of residents and their families. These programs link residents to Jamboree’s network of community services in the greater Anaheim area and include onsite activities such as homework assistance and tutoring for children, consumer credit counseling, financial literacy and pre-employment counseling for adults. This enhanced level of support to residents is an award-winning example of effective partnerships that are making a marked impact for these residents and their families.
Since its opening, all studies of Diamond show that Jamboree’s unique service model leads to better resident outcomes with a decreased cost to residents as well as a decrease in service utilizations such as emergency services and hospitalizations, as well as criminal justice contacts. Since 2015, none of Telecare’s clients at Diamond have experienced any psychiatric hospitalizations. Many residents regularly volunteer and some are competitively employed. This level of success is unheard of in the mental health community, far exceeding measures of success in residential stability, increased skills or income and greater self-determination and goes a long way towards ending homelessness in California.
A diamond in the rough
Constructed on an irregularly shaped remnant parcel of less than one acre from a freeway expansion project, and adjacent to Interstate 5 (I-5) freeway on/off ramp, Jamboree took this “lump of coal” and made it a diamond. The property varies in width from 120 feet to 30 feet, is bound by streets on three sides, and included a storm drain easement that bisected the site. A unique collaboration between architect and Jamboree, with community input from Anaheim residents, was influential in many design decisions, such as the outward-facing design, and the selection of low garden walls to intentionally create a sense of openness. Diamond combines the creative use of land, sustainable building practices, and strategic public/private partnerships under one roof.
A cost-saving solution
Diamond was the first step in the City of Anaheim’s investment in developing a mixed-use neighborhood, and its craftsman-inspired design is in keeping with the character of the local historical style. The innovative financing that made the project a reality included a nexus of funding. At an original cost of $9.6 million, today Diamond is a valuable community asset that translates to taxpayer savings of up to $1.18 million each year – or a cumulative savings of approximately $11.8 million for its decade of continuous and successful operation. That’s based on the Homelessness in Orange County: The Costs to Our Community study conducted by UC Irvine and funded by Jamboree and United Way Orange County in 2017.
Jamboree continues to partner with the city of Anaheim, County of Orange, investors, mental health service providers, and property management to ensure that Diamond provides high quality housing and extensive supportive services to residents for years to come, filling the need for permanent affordable housing with services for those with special needs.