November 9, 2015
This month, all of us at Alpha Project are excited by the grand opening of Alpha Square, our first new construction project, which includes 201 units of permanent housing for formerly homeless residents along with a community kitchen and dining room, two retail storefronts and numerous other amenities. The opening of Alpha Square is the culmination of years of planning and development. The project will include comprehensive support services for residents with multiple special needs, including seniors, veterans, men and women with mental illnesses, histories of domestic violence and other barriers to self-sufficiency.
Alpha Square is a “Housing First” project, embracing the philosophy that the immediate solution to homelessness is a home. Housing First replaces the revolving-door system of shelters and crisis centers with permanent, sustainable, high-quality, affordable housing connected to services that ensure residents remain housed with the support they require.
Services are critical. Housing First does not mean housing only. Virtually all homeless people were once housed. For the chronically homeless, those with lengthy periods of homelessness and disabling conditions, housing alone isn’t enough. They require the services of trained professionals to remain housed and functioning at their optimal level of self-sufficiency. Housing and services are two equally important ingredients in the Housing First model.
There is another ingredient, a critical component in the success of projects like Alpha Square, and that is the support of a caring community. We know that formerly homeless people can succeed when they are given the basic dignities most of us take for granted – a place to live with access to nutrition, healthcare, hygiene and the other basic elements of modern life. But like everyone else, formerly homeless people thrive when they are included as members of a caring society. We will be most proud of our work at Alpha Square when its residents are welcome neighbors in Downtown.
We can’t accomplish all of our objectives alone. Just like the men and women we serve, we need the help of a caring, compassionate public. Our residents need more than a place to live – they need a home. We hope you will help us make a warm, welcoming home for our residents. People leaving behind years of life on the margins of our society arrive at their new front doors with nothing but a key. They need anything and everything – sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies, cookware and dishes… the list goes on.
With 201 units to stock, no gift is too large or too small. You can help by donating new items, by assembling move-in kits, or by leading a collection drive. You can contribute a tax-deductible financial gift by check or online at www.alphaproject.org or to find out how to make the most of your gift and fill our most pressing needs, you can contact us by phone at (619) 542-1877.
I know I speak for the other nonprofit leaders featured by HomeAid this month when I thank you for your concern and commitment to our community and, in particular, our most vulnerable neighbors. You make San Diego a place we are proud to call home.
President and CEO, Alpha Project