Executive Director G. Michael Arnold, LAHSA, CEO Anita U. Nelson,
SRO Housing Corporation and Chair Larry Adamson, LAHSA
Commission at the grand opening.
108 Chronically Homeless Men and Women Will Move Into New Homes on Skid Row
“Creating something beautiful out of scraps…” is what Deborah Martin does every day. As a quilter, her work has been displayed in galleries and public buildings. As the Resident Property Manager of a new affordable housing development in the heart of “Skid Row,” she is preparing to create beautiful new beginnings for 108 formerly homeless people at SRO Housing Corporation’s Gateways Apartments, on the corner of 5th and San Pedro Streets.
Deborah was first hired by SRO Housing as a Janitor 11 years ago. She worked her way up in the organization and has been selected as the on-site Property Manager for the newly constructed contemporary six-story building that opens to the community with an airy courtyard and lush greenery.
The building overlooks a neighborhood far from the “Ozzie and Harriet, picket fence life” that Martin lost when divorce drove her to the streets more than a decade ago. Like many of the residents who live in SRO Housing Corporation’s residential buildings in Skid Row, Martin’s journey back from homelessness was stitched together with tenacity, commitment and hope.
“There is nothing more profound than closing the door on the despair of homelessness and opening the door to a new life in a beautiful new home. Over 500 people applied for these 108 apartments. Clearly, there is a great need. We take pride in providing these homes to the community.” said Anita U. Nelson, CEO of SRO Housing Corporation.
“This building transforms a blighted lot once encircled by razor-wire and soiled by encampments and trash. Now, the Gateways Apartments rise above the past to transform lives of our residents with supportive services in safe, sparkling new homes.” SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Housing Corporation has developed 29 permanent supportive housing projects in Los Angeles.
This newest project, the Gateways Apartments is a LEED Certified GOLD building that provides 108 private studio apartments, designed by Dvortzky, Bardovi, Bunnell Architects. The apartment homes feature full-size bathrooms and kitchens equipped with Energy Star appliances; on-site security, resident property manager, case management services, laundry, secure subterranean parking, a community room, multipurpose room with computer stations, an edible garden and solar panels.
“The Gateways Apartments are a $28 million new construction that epitomizes our theme of Opening Doors and Transforming Lives,” said Joseph Corcoran, SRO Housing Corporation’s Director of Planning and Housing Development. “This project will serve as a gateway to a new beginning in downtown Los Angeles for homeless and very low-income individuals, many of whom live with a mental illness.”