City and St. John’s Program for Real Change unveil new modular homes for women and children in need of housing

The City of Sacramento, in partnership with St. John’s Program for Real Change, on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of St. John’s Square, which features 11 new modular homes that can support up to 55 women and children in need of housing.

The project was funded with $1.1 million from the City and $2.8 million from the State’s Project Homekey program.

“This is an exciting project that will help women and children with interim housing needs,” said the City’s Housing Policy Manager Danielle Foster. “Seeing this housing development come to fruition and be developed in less than a year shows that this type of efficiency housing, with a lower cost per unit and a faster development timeline, can help us make a dent in the affordable housing shortage.”

Councilmembers Angelique Ashby, Eric Guerra, Sean Loloee and and Katie Valenzuela — all proponents of the project — attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting for the homes, which were built in a former parking lot.

“Thanks to the City Council’s leadership on efficiency housing, we were able to effectively use the funds from State Homekey and Federal COVID relief to make a difference in the lives of formerly homeless women and children,” Foster said.

St. John’s, a nonprofit organization that offers childcare, life-skill classes and counseling for substance abuse and domestic violence, operates group housing for women who have experienced homelessness and their children.

The new modular homes provide women participating in the program a place of their own to live while keeping them connected to on-site counselors and therapists, said Julie Hirota, the executive director of St. John’s program.

“Women can run their household independently, but they also have access to the other services that are available here on campus,” Hirota said.

The modular homes offer two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, a dining area, a living room and laundry facilities and are approximately 850 square feet.

In addition to modular homes at St. John’s Square, Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE), a nonprofit that serves domestic violence and sexual assault victims, will open nine new modular homes that were also funded by the City and the State’s Project Homekey program.

The new modular homes are part of the City’s comprehensive plan to create more affordable housing and further respond to homelessness in Sacramento. The City Council is scheduled to vote on its master siting plan for locating homeless shelters, safe ground sites and other services for people experiencing homelessness on Aug. 10.

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