Irvine, CA – Jamboree Housing Corporation today announced that H.O.M.E.S., Inc. (Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success) will become affiliated with Jamboree on an ongoing basis. According to Laura Archuleta, Jamboree’s president, the decision came after months of discussions between the two organizations’ boards of directors and takes effect October 1, 2010. Like Housing with HEART, Jamboree’s resident services group, H.O.M.E.S. will continue to operate as a separate 501(C)(3) organization under the Jamboree name and governance.
“In coming together, we are excited about capitalizing on the unique strength of each organization. We seek to increase the overall capacity of both organizations to fulfill our shared commitment to create more supportive housing for those with special needs,” Archuleta explained.
The two nonprofits first began working together in 2006 to co-develop Diamond Apartment Homes in Anaheim, California. Opened in January 2009, this innovative property provides both housing and mental health supportive services for formerly homeless individuals – living with mental illness – and their families. In a state where the chronically homeless population outpaces the national average, local officials and affordable housing developers alike are applauding the merits of Diamond, an innovative and cost-effective solution in the fight to help end long-term homelessness.
Combining the creative use of land, sustainable building practices and strategic partnerships under one roof, Diamond is home to 25 families who earn no more than $30,120 – 30% of the area median income. Some eighteen months later, Diamond continues to boast a 96% original resident retention rate. That 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 as set by the Governor’s Homeless Initiative – one of multiple layers of both public and private funding sources for the property – to create 10,000 additional units of permanent supportive housing for the population of homeless individuals with chronic mental illness.
Another funding source for the Anaheim property included the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) – the result of a proposition passed by California voters in 2004 to provide dedicated funding for the expansion of county mental health services. Scott Darrell, Jamboree’s Housing with HEART resident services director, recalls how instrumental the expertise of H.O.M.E.S. was to acquiring these difficult-to-secure funds for Diamond. “When the MHSA funding became available in Orange County, H.O.M.E.S. was the only organization that had a successful model in place to replicate. The combination of H.O.M.E.S.’ supportive housing expertise with Jamboree’s housing development expertise was critical in the successful development of this new MHSA model for housing chronically homeless individuals,” explains Darrell.
“For residents with severe, persistent mental illness, the mental illness is not the knockout punch, homelessness is,” says Helen Cameron, Executive Director of H.O.M.E.S., noting that more than 6,000 homeless with mental illness – many of whom are veterans – live in Orange County. The cost of comparison of H.O.M.E.S. programs and services with that of hospitalizing a mental health client is $30 per day as compared to $1,500 per day.
“Backed by the size and strength of Jamboree’s financial, asset management and operations expertise, H.O.M.E.S. will now focus on providing the ongoing supportive services delivered with the “whatever it takes” approach for which H.O.M.E.S. is known,” continues Cameron. This will expand the opportunities to co-develop affordable housing with integrated housing and services for special needs populations. It will allow H.O.M.E.S. staff to move from also dealing with routine property maintenance issues such as plumbing and changing light bulbs to focusing solely on new housing and services.
The H.O.M.E.S. approach to resident services is consistent with Jamboree’s mission to strengthen communities by enhancing the quality of family life. Its resident services group, Housing with HEART, offers free, non-clinical, onsite 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 38 of the more than 56 communities Jamboree serves throughout the state.
As Jamboree approaches the halfway mark of creating 13,000 California homes by 2016, it is eager to meet and exceed this ambitious goal with 1,400 units and more than $250 million already in the current development pipeline. Jamboree is also intent on ensuring that at least 10% of its expanding portfolio is designated for residents with special needs. “H.O.M.E.S. will bring to Jamboree 25 years of the expertise and experience needed to successfully serve those with special needs. The prospect of such impact for those most in need is exciting,” says Darrell.
About H.O.M.E.S.: Founded in 1985, Orange County-based H.O.M.E.S., Inc. is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provided housing and support for people with psychiatric disabilities. Its housing programs encourage independence and self-reliance by helping individuals succeed in their own local communities and beyond. To date,
H.O.M.E.S. boasts more than 500 graduates. In recent years, the Board has placed an added emphasis on homeless individuals with mental illness. As a result, H.O.M.E.S. is a Co-General Partner in the development of a 30-unit apartment complex in Midway City – the only program of its type in Orange County. Transitional and permanent housing is provided in six additional homes and the beautiful new Diamond Apartment Homes. More information is available at www.homesinc.org.
About Jamboree: Celebrating 20 years, Irvine, CA-headquartered Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, broad- based, nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing throughout California for working families, seniors and people with special needs. Housing with HEART is a 501(c)(3) organization and Jamboree’s resident services group. A year-long commemoration of Jamboree’s 20th elevates the ripple effect of providing high quality affordable housing that generates more jobs, creates supportive housing for seniors and those with special needs, promotes healthy living and builds stronger communities.
A leading nonprofit developer, Jamboree’s $1 billion asset portfolio includes the development of and/or ownership interest in more than 6,000 homes in more than 56 California communities. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services that foster learning, health and community building are offered at 38 Jamboree communities with designated staff at each location. For more information, go to www.jamboreehousing.com.