Before development of Heroes Landing began, a group of committed partners came together with a shared vision – to care for the unique needs of homeless veterans. Their vision inspired the design of this property. That’s why identifying needs is the first step in our Community Collaborative strategy. It’s followed by a community needs assessment that provides greater clarity about the specific steps needed to achieve community goals.
Thanks to collaboration with the City of Santa Ana, Veterans Administration (VA), and other veterans service organizations, Heroes Landing is a sanctuary of stability and a hub of hope that provides opportunity for formerly homeless veterans to live independently and thrive.
Heroes Landing opened in 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the need for housing to protect health. Once a vacant, blighted parking lot, the property was transformed into a three-story U-shaped building that frames a central courtyard. Thanks to the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative, custom amenities designed into Orange County’s largest Permanent Supportive Housing development for veterans include a meditation walk, community garden, bicycle storage, and service areas for therapy animals.
Seventy-five vulnerable, homeless veterans and their families were moved off the street, out of shelters, and from their cars into new, fully furnished, affordable apartment homes. Patriotic pavers surround the courtyard’s flagpole, a tribute to veterans in the community and a fundraiser for home starter kits of household essentials for each resident upon move-in.
The Heroes Landing Community Collaborative brought together – onsite – some of Orange County’s leading veterans service agencies to support residents as well as to leverage and expand resources to veterans throughout the greater community. This onsite service center includes offices, counseling, and meeting rooms for the Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System, Goodwill of OC’s Tierney Center for Veterans Services, Veterans Legal Institute, Strength in Support, and Step Up on Second.
The Honorable Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court, a veteran and housing advocate, in a rare personal appearance at the groundbreaking, commented that the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative partners were helping to turn a corner, ensuring veterans aren’t suffering when they seek shelter in civilian life.
Since its opening, Jamboree’s Heroes Landing Community Collaborative has provided ongoing counseling/crisis intervention sessions, referrals to other local services agencies, transportation to the Veterans Administration (VA), yoga, and other health and wellness classes. Hundreds of food boxes are delivered and several thousand meals are served on a regular basis. Life skills programming includes workshops on budgeting, cooking, grocery shopping, paying rent on time, and how to be a good neighbor/resident.
The Heroes Landing Community Collaborative continuously identifies and addresses needs that may affect these residents’ stability. As a result, Heroes Landing has successfully kept 90% of these veterans in permanent housing, and 100% are connected to one or more benefit resources.
A recent success story is a young post-9/11 veteran. Veterans services providers in the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative helped connect him with his VA benefits, and not long after that, he was granted 100% service connection benefits. He graduated from the VA HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and is now living independently with his fiancée.
The Heroes Landing Community Collaborative focuses on changing needs and adapting responses. Needs and objectives are assessed annually and often lead to new partnerships. Going forward, the focus of the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative continues to evolve as we glean feedback from residents and evaluate ways to enhance or bring in additional services as needed. Our onsite VA partners are expanding staff who come to Heroes Landing to include a nurse, substance abuse specialist, and peer support specialist.
A second Jamboree property exclusively for veterans is currently in development less than a mile from Heroes Landing. When North Harbor Village is completed, these 90 formerly homeless veterans will share the services of the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative, leveraging existing partnerships and resources. With these two properties, Jamboree is the largest provider of Permanent Supportive Housing for veterans in Orange County.
Explore the success of the Heroes Landing Community Collaborative.