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Housing for Vets Built Through Humanity, Politics and Love
By E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Staff Writer
Published December 5, 2019

(l-r) Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Supv Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilman Curren Price, Jackie Dupont-Walker, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supv Hilda Solis, Dalila Otelo, Council president Herb Wesson, and Brian Grant at the Casa De Rosa groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

On Monday, December 2, elected officials, community leaders, veterans and the public assembled on the corner of West Adams Blvd. and Hoover Ave. in South L.A. to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for the restoration project of Casa De Rosas, a 29,900 square feet housing complex aimed at house homeless veterans and the families.

The long-awaited project is currently in the construction phase and will transform the historic West Adams building into charming courtyards with fruit tree-lined sidewalks for 37 formerly homeless veterans with a child in the Spring 2020. Their families will also benefit from a range of onsite, supportive social services.

Spectators filled the standing room only outdoor construction site for a ceremony that celebrated the fourteen million-dollar ($14 million) housing plan that was executed through a union of love, politics, and humanity. The people who made it happen assembled underneath a translucent tent that revealed the on-going construction site as the backdrop.

Civic leaders, elected officials and community activists shared their enthusiasm for a mutual goal. And despite all the administrative and political obstacles that come from such endeavors, as well as the building’s mercurial past, they celebrated a solidarity that is helping combat L.A.’s epidemic homeless crises.

WEDC president Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker (right), was acknowledged by Supervisor Hilda Solis (left) for her work with the Casa De Rosas project. (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis)

On hand to celebrate was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supv. Hilda Solis, Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, L.A. City Councilman Curren Price, Supv Mark Ridley Thomas, and L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, along with representatives from offices of Congresswoman Karen Bass and State Senator Holly Mitchell.

Also attending the ceremony is a development team purposely comprised of minority and women-based companies and management, including Curtom-Dunsmuir Construction, M2A Architects, TelaCu Property Management, and Tyler Construction Consulting Services. The project utilizes small businesses with 100 percent Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise General Contractors, 96 percent MBE and WBE for small business subs, 86 percent for local hires, and 1 percent for female workers.

Casa’s lenders were represented by Tunua Thrash N’Tuk, director, LA LISC, which provided the pre-development loan and announced another $25,000 was just approved; Steven Herman, executive VP at California Bank and Trust and Royal Bank of Canada (City National Bank) and Royal Bank of Canada’s local arm. Rounding out the funding team were LA Housing Authority with VASH Vouchers and California HCD.

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, president of Ward Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), was acknowledged by several speakers for organizing such a league of powerful and compassionate supporters. She thanks Integral Group president, Vicki Wilbon for the partnership in the Casa project, and acknowledged Integral L.A. rep, Dalila Otelo for making a difference.

(l-r) Vicki Wilbon, Tunua Thrash-N’Tuk, Council president Herb Wesson, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Brigadier General Ruth Wong, Supv Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilman Curren Price, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Jackie Dupont-Walker, Supv Hilda Solis, Brian Grant, Dalila Otelo, and Steve Herman at the Casa De Rosas groundbreaking ceremony. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

“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,” said Dupont-Walker of Price. He has been a crusader for the Casa project and is unyielding about the needs of veterans who he says deserve a second chance at life after serving, defending and representing their country, noted Dupont-Walker.

“Today, we’re going to break ground on a 37-unit apartment complex that’s going to create space for hope and growth … we’re not only providing a roof, we’re providing services,” said Price.

With shovels in hand, the alliance broke ground, embraced and took photos, and toured the Casa De Rosas; what once was a neighborhood eye-sore, in only months away from beautiful home for veterans and their families.

For more information about Casa de Rosas, call (213) 494-1694.

Categories: Business | Local | News | Political | Real Estate
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