Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes and California State Legislature Deliver $10M from the California State Budget
(RIVERSIDE) On Tuesday, October 19, TruEvolution Inc will commence development on Project Legacy, a public-private partnership between the Housing Authority of the County of Riverside and TruEvolution.
Located in a region with diverse communities, the Inland Empire disproportionately experiences health inequities, disparities in access to care, lack of affordable housing, chronic homelessness, and language barriers. Project Legacy is an exciting new endeavor that addresses several of these social determinants of health, and is the only Project Homekey site that will predominantly serve the LGBTQ+ community. Specifically, 80% of those living in the Project Legacy housing program will identify as LGBTQ+, including those living with HIV, youth transitioning out of the foster care system, and senior citizens.
Project Legacy addresses the needs of its underserved demographics by providing housing for vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness through a one-of-a-kind community campus model where residential bungalows and comprehensive supportive services co-exist at the same location. Each of these craftsman-style bungalows will be personified by iconic representations in the community, both living and departed. Three will be named after living LGBTQ+ leaders and icons present: Reverend Benita Ramsey, George M. Johnson, and Twiggy Pucci Garçon. The remaining two residences, the James Baldwin House and Marsha P. Johnson House, will enshrine two historical figures in the LGBTQ+ community whom many have learned from and continue to honor.
“It is a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to name each of these residences after those who have contributed to our liberation,” said Gabriel Maldonado, Founder and CEO of TruEvolution. “Naming these homes is a beacon. A beacon to queer youth in the region that community lives, and that they belong.”
“I am proud to have secured $10 million through the State Budget for TruEvolution’s Project Legacy. Project Legacy will serve our LGBTQ+ youth and those living with HIV or AIDS by giving them a safe, stable place to live and by empowering them with a breadth of services, including a primary care clinic, mental health services, and workforce development,” said Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona). “Investments such as these will help address our housing crisis and strengthen our community’s safety net. As a proud member of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, I applaud the collaborative efforts of the Riverside County Housing Authority and TruEvolution to fill a critical need in our region and provide a place of belonging for our LGBTQ+ community.”
“This project is a step forward to equitable housing solutions for our community. Building permanent supportive housing that is inclusive and provides comprehensive wrap-around services for LGBTQ+ youth, seniors and people living with HIV is needed in the Inland Empire,” said Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes. “Thank you to TruEvolution and the Housing Authority of the County of Riverside for their work on this project. I am proud to have supported funding for this project in the California State Budget. I hope this project inspires others to think outside of the box when identifying housing solutions in the Inland Empire.”
Upon completion, Project Legacy will provide 49 beds of permanent supportive housing, primary healthcare services, a mental health clinic, workforce and job training center, fitness center, and a community garden.
Recently, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes and Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes secured $10,000,000 in FY21 California State Budget to complete the gap on construction for the project. This collective advocacy was in an effort to not only respond to the homeless and housing crisis in the State of California, but to strengthen the safety net for services for some of the region’s most vulnerable. Construction is set to commence in December 2021 and is scheduled for completion by November 2022.
TruEvolution fights for health equity and racial justice to advance the quality of life and human dignity of LGBTQ+ people. As both a public health and advocacy non-profit, TruEvolution has served thousands of clients across the Inland Empire since its founding with services such as sexual wellness, behavioral health, and emergency housing.