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Church housing effort brings new hope to South Los Angeles

 


Church housing effort brings new hope to South Los Angeles

April 28, 2005

By Larry R. Hygh Jr.*

LOS ANGELES (UMNS)—New hope is springing forth on a busy intersection in South Los Angeles.

Faith Community United Methodist Church recently celebrated the grand opening of Faith Housing New Hope Courtyard Apartments. The church’s housing corporation, along with another Los Angeles non-profit agency, dedicated 25 new homes to serve low-income individuals and families living with special needs in South Los Angeles.

"As we continue to make an impact in this community (through building affordable housing), we can change lives," said the Rev. M. Andrew Robinson-Gaither, senior pastor of Faith United Methodist Community Church.

Residents began moving into the new four-story building last August. Rent is priced at 30 percent of the resident’s income. The building includes laundry facilities, a community room and parking.

Bryon Jackson, a resident of the facility, spoke of his experience of being homeless. "We’re just one paycheck away from being homeless; in my case it was three," he said. He lost his job and ended up living in hotels and shelters and out of his car.

Jackson’s journey to Faith Housing New Hope Courtyard Apartments was a two-year experience. He encouraged the people gathered for the April 6 grand opening to see the new face of homelessness.

"This building is more than bricks and mortar. It represents individuals who are able to reinvent themselves," he said.

The facility, which cost $4.78 million, is a joint effort of Faith Housing Corp. and Project New Hope.

The Faith Housing Corp. is a commitment by Faith United Methodist Community Church to encourage and nurture the building of affordable housing in Los Angeles. It was established in 1995, as a nonprofit public benefit corporation for the purpose of using professional and voluntary assets, government agencies and community businesses to assist in the development, ownership and management of permanent housing for families, including those with HIV/AIDS housing needs.

Project New Hope is a nonprofit agency that offers a full range of services by promoting self-sufficiency, and dignity for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Services provided by Project New Hope include independent living, transitional housing, residential care, skills training, education and substance abuse recovery.

*Hygh is director of communications for the denomination’s California-Pacific Annual Conference, which includes local churches in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. He is also a doctoral student at Pepperdine University.

News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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