At a time when the availability of affordable housing is not keeping pace with the need for this precious resource, Ward Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has partnered with Integral Group to transform the historic Casa de Rosas into a campus for formerly homeless single-parent veterans with a child.
There could be no better conversion of this 116-year-old campus than to create community in a neighborhood that can return to its roots of providing innovative service by embrace and support the special needs of adult parents who need and deserve a second chance to parent and bond with their children. In fact, when built in 1893, Casa De Rosas was an innovative experiment in childcare. It is reported to have been one of the first private kindergartens at a time when education for younger children was a novel idea. As public kindergartens became popular, the campus became a site to prepare young women for college. That school later moved to the San Gabriel Valley as the neighborhood changed. Its “bones have been proven to withstand the ravages of time and weather condition.” Over the years, this campus has had varied uses – an inn and restaurant, a military barracks in World War II and the headquarters of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics Foundation, and then stood vacant until the end of World War II. In the 1950s, Essie Binkley West, who was dubbed “Angel of Skid Row,” purchased and converted the shelter to “Sunshine Mission,” a shelter for homeless women. Unfortunately, the shelter closed in the early 2000s. Imagine, evolving from being a location to serve the needs of children, educate young women, to serving as barracks for military for a span of over 100 years.
On Monday, December 2, 2019, the community is invited to celebrate the restoration work that will lead to a “hybrid” use of this strategically located campus. WEDC and Integral staff will welcome elected officials, community leaders, Veterans and community stakeholders to invoke God’s guidance as the development team restores Casa De Rosas, slated to reopen in the Spring of 2020. This 29,900 square foot complex is intended to be home for 37 Veteran families with the unique needs of single-parenting, career development goals, and need for supportive serves in a permanent supportive housing environment. Its grounds will include courtyards and fruit treelined sidewalks along with onsite daycare. This fourteen million-dollar ($14 million) project has the support of elected officials at all levels, but is principally a part of the vision of Councilmember Curren Price (Council District 9) who has consistently touted the needs of veterans who want a second chance after unselfishly serving their country. as prepare to redevelop the 29,900 square feet complex on a campus with courtyards and fruit tree lined sidewalks into permanent housing with a range of onsite, supportive services.
WEDC and Integral have assembled a stellar development team for Casa de Rosas which includes Curtom-Dunsmuir Construction, M2A Architects, TelaCu Property Management, and Tyler Construction Consulting Services.
Funding for the project comes from a combination of public, low-income housing tax credits/bond, and conventional loan dollars. Partnering are LISC with pre-development funding, Los Angeles City HCID with HHH funds, City of Los Angeles Housing Authority with VASH vouchers, California Bank and Trust, Royal Bank of Canada (City National Bank) and donations from supporters. Several agencies will be collaborating in the programming and provision of services.
“The stakeholders in the West Adams area are excited that Casa De Rosas is poised to be restored physically and its mission of shelter for “the least of these” is protected,” said Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, WEDC president and Dalila Sotelo, Integral’s LA representative.
“We appreciate Councilman Curren Price whose vision for diverse housing options to meet the needs of our veterans is fueling so many new opportunities in the new 9th District,” says Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. We are also thankful for the support of the Los Angeles Housing and Housing and Community Investment Department as well as our other elected representatives who champion the cause of decent and affordable housing.
Now that the campus will be redeveloped to once again serve the community, many people are expected to show their support by attending at the Ground Breaking Ceremony including LA City Councilman Curren Price, LA City Mayor Eric Garcetti, California Assemblymen Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California Senator Holly Mitchell, Veterans, and offices of other elected supporters community stakeholders.
“WEDC and Integral are sparing no effort to make this a celebratory event,” conclude Dupont-Walker and Sotelo.
For more information about Casa de Rosas, call (213) 747-1188.