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Anchor Place Creates Affordable, Safe Living Space For Veterans

Release Date: 2017-11-15

Long Beach is helping to house the homeless, one apartment complex at a time.

Anchor Place — a 120-unit complex supporting Long Beach's low income residents — opened its doors on Nov. 7 at Villages at Cabrillo. Staff, donors and city leadership celebrated with a campus tour and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

"It was worth every penny that the city has put in to ensure that we have this great space for our veterans and families experiencing homelessness," Mayor Robert Garcia said. "This is a project that could exist anywhere in the city of Long Beach."

The affordable units include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments subsidized through Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers provided through the city's Housing Authority. Vouchers will provide a total of $10.8 million to house homeless veterans over a 15-year period.

The apartment complex is more than low-income housing, according to Brian D'Andrea, president of Century Villages of Cabrillo. It's a space for community members to have a home to call their own while they regain their footing in life, whatever that may entail.

"This anchor has come to symbolize the safety provided by the Villages to families tossed about by the ill-fated winds of unemployment, homelessness and hunger," D'Andrea said, as he quoted an excerpt written by Steve Colman, executive director. "The anchor is a tangible reminder that even the harshest storms eventually pass, calm seas return and travelers can resume their journey."

To help residents feel more at home, the complex features a gym, deli, community activity areas and a full courtyard. Long Beach Transit buses operate just outside of the complex, with more routes to be added in the beginning of 2018.

“Providing affordable, safe and secure housing for veterans and families is a key to addressing the city’s housing needs,” Seventh District Councilman Roberto Uranga said. “This development will support the tremendous efforts at the Century Villages at Cabrillo, and further promote vibrant and diverse communities.”

Hank and Cathy Elands, residents at Anchor Place, had positive things to say about their new home as well.

"I moved in about two weeks ago and I didn't know what to expect," Hank Elands said. "Come to find out this is a fantastic place to live. The help that you get from the staff here is unsurpassed."

Part of breaking the cycle of homelessness goes beyond providing affordable housing, according to Walt Dannenberg, Veterans Affairs Long Beach healthcare system director.

Veteran suicide rates average of 20 completed attempts a day across the country, and that is something the community needs to do a better job at providing help and services for, he said.

He added that Anchor Place — and other Villages at Cabrillo complexes — are leading the way in providing better care for the country's veterans.

"Long Beach remains dedicated to ensuring that all veterans who have served our country have access to quality housing," Garcia said. "Anchor Place is a testament to our commitment to ending homelessness and supporting our veterans."

The Long Beach Veterans Affairs crisis hotline is (800) 273-8255.

For more information on the city’s affordable housing developments, go to /lbds.info/housing_and_community_improvement/default.asp. For information on Anchor Place and other Century Villages at Cabrillo services and housing options, visit www.centuryvillages.org.