Summit View Apartments models community partnership to provide permanent homes and supportive services to Veterans transitioning out of homelessness
A group of formerly homeless Veterans now have a place to call “home.” They are finally coming home to a new permanent supportive housing development in Sylmar. Community members, partner organizations, and civic leaders from across Los Angeles came together to celebrate the official grand opening of Summit View Apartments, which is providing 48 permanent homes for veterans experiencing homelessness.
“Today, when I walk through my front door here at Summit View, I feel something I’ve never felt before in my life: I feel at home. After so many difficult years, I feel like myself again,” said Donte Aguilar, a U.S. Navy veteran and Summit View resident. “Every day, I cook in my own kitchen, take a shower in my own bathroom, and sleep in my own bed. My confidence has gone up. I’m working on rebuilding relationships with friends and family. Thanks to my incredible neighbors and the wonderful staff here at Summit View, I am truly thriving.”
Overlooking Hansen Dam, Summit View Apartments, has an open-air courtyard, community rooms, a computer lab, fitness center, and laundry facilities that foster healthful living and community building.
“Many Mansions is proud to have collaborated with LA Family Housing, the Veterans Administration, the City of Los Angeles, and so many others on this meaningful project,” said Rick Schroeder, President of Many Mansions. “We know from our deep experience in developing supportive housing that Summit View Apartments will play an impactful role in the lives of our Veteran residents for years to come.”
“Today’s grand opening is proof that we’re continuing to make progress towards helping our homeless neighbors and getting a permanent roof over their heads,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I’m especially proud of this project’s focus on housing veterans. This year’s homeless count found that there was at least a 12% increase among homeless veterans. That amounts to 422 more individuals who served our country yet are abandoned, living in squalid conditions on our streets. That’s unacceptable. I am committed to mobilizing County resources and working with state, city, and community-based organizations to make more projects like Summit View Apartments a reality in my district. These homes will change lives.”
It’s estimated that at least 4,000 veterans in LA County are homeless. Despite services that are supposed to be available to veterans, they’ve historically faced barriers to housing and resources.
Veterans now housed at this apartment complex will now have access to a range of voluntarily accessible onsite supportive services to enable them to thrive long-term, including comprehensive case management, connections to health care services, education and employment resources, life skills training, and more.
“We must build more permanent supportive housing throughout Los Angeles. This project will provide much-needed housing for our veterans as well as others who need a helping hand to get back on their feet,” said Mayor Karen Bass. Thank you to LA Family Housing and Many Mansions for continuing your work with us to confront the homelessness crisis head on and to house our most vulnerable.”
“I was proud to celebrate the grand opening of Summit View Apartments, which provides much-needed housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness in my district,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “As a daughter of a Vietnam War veteran, advocate for veteran services and representative for hundreds of veterans in my district, I am particularly thrilled to welcome this housing in my district and will continue to fight to ensure this community receives the services and assistance it deserves.”
“Today is a day of celebration and joy as we officially welcome 48 formerly homeless veterans home. With a roof over their heads and a door they can close, they can begin the process of healing, regaining personal stability, and ultimately, thriving,” said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, President and CEO of LA Family Housing. “LA Family Housing is beyond grateful to all our partners who made it possible for us to build the kind of housing we know is effective in ending homelessness in people’s lives.”
Article originally appeared in the the San Fernando Valley Sun (Read full story and additional photos).