It's a powerful partnership: A non-profit with a vision and the city of Phoenix with a mission.
"...One project at a time until we find a way to eradicate chronic homelessness," explained deputy housing director for the city of Phoenix Maria Bears.
Chicanos Por La Causa just secured a $2.5 million loan, approved by city council, that will pave the way to rehabilitating the downtrodden Travel Inn on Van Buren into affordable housing.
"We really want to transform it to look like a community that you and I would both want to live in," said Vice-President of Multifamily Operations for CPLC Pedro Cons.
Cons says, when completed, the focus will be specific.
"...Veterans and the chronically homeless." He explains the residents will be clients that have already gone through many of CPLC's support programs. "...An individual that most likely has gone past the transition phase," he adds.
In November, crews will begin the process of transforming the dilapidated hotel into 90 studio apartments.
"We're going in and gutting out the facility," Cons says.
The finished product will be modest units referred to as efficiencies.
"Meaning we're gonna put a small kitchen, a kitchenette, which they don't have now."
This will be a total transition from the life residents once knew. Instead of sleeping somewhere different each night, the apartments will be their permanent residence. Instead of re-entering society on their own, there they'll continue to get the services they need.
"A place where a therapist can come and also provide some services, workforce development, resume building," Cons explained.
Maria Bears says that falls right in line with the city's goals.
"One of those goals is to serve the homeless right now," she said.
The project is expected to cost $3.2 million. Chicanos Por La Causa has secured other grants to add to what they're getting from the city. Pedro Cons says it has a projected completion date of May 2015.
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