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Black Voice News Staff Report

The San Bernardino based Time For Change Foundation held its grand opening of the Phoenix Square July 25. The organization’s first affordable housing project located at 657 North F St. began back in early 2011 with the purchase of a seven-unit apartment structure that underwent major remodeling and renovation.

The opening event kicked off with praise from San Bernardino City Mayor Patrick Morris, who commended Time for Change Foundation's executive director and founder, Kim Carter for her work in making the project possible.

Carey Jenkins, from the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency called the project a “beacon of hope” for women in transition. Other speakers included Beverly Earl, Director of Catholic Charities, and Board President of Time For Change Foundation, and Dianne Sapp, a Time for Change Foundation graduate and first resident at the Phoenix square.

“This is the model for affordable housing in the Inland Empire,” said Carter. This project is a crime free multi housing meaning, no drugs, no alcohol allowed on the premises. Low income residents who are clean and sober and willing to abide by our crime free addendum and drug free policies are eligible.”

Phoenix square will offer seven furnished units in a newly remodeled building at ‘F’ and Victoria Streets, just north of San Bernardino’s downtown core. The Phoenix Square’s housing is open to very-low-income families and individuals who make less than half of the area’s median income. The $1.5 Million project was financed in part from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and other private donors and foundations. “Thus far, there has been an overwhelming response for this type of housing,” said John Kunkel, director of communications. The Phoenix Square still has two additional phases that need completion. The plans for the second phase include developing a combination of housing and community space, and creating a garden for organic micro-enterprises, which will establish a place where the community can attend educational classes and meetings, as well as a space for residents to manage their respective businesses. The third phase will be to develop a solar-paneled parking structure for reusable energy that is “grid-neutral,” allowing for the Phoenix Square to “go green.”

“The Phoenix Square will be a tremendous asset to the surrounding community,” said Kunkel. “It really sets the standard for low-income housing in Southern California, and it is a prime example of what it looks like to transform a neighborhood into a sustainable community. Our vision is to develop more projects like this in the future.” The Phoenix Square was awarded the CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design), and the Crime-Free Multi-Housing Certification provided by the City of San Bernardino.

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