Faced with a tremendous need to mitigate homelessness and gain supportive services for people with disabilities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) began to plan development and financing for the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to for affordable, permanent, supportive housing and services under one roof. Financed in part by Community Housing Capital and Whitney National Bank, along with funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, the project, named One Stop Homeless Services Center, was completed in 2011. At the ribbon-cutting event, GCHP celebrated with the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless, whose 2004 vision for the facility helped make it a reality. The One Stop Homeless Services Center provides a full range of “Continuum of Care” support services to Baton Rouge’s homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless.
“Community Housing Capital has been great. They provided us with a draw schedule that works well for our project,” One Stop Homeless Services Center project manager Cornelius Payne said. Their expertise in underwriting multi-layered financing models was critical to the success of the project, and their underwriters have been a valuable resource in helping us think through all of the elements of structuring a strong deal. In particular, their experience with affordable housing and loan participation structures has helped us attract multiple sources of capital to make this project happen.”
By co-locating residential and community support services with residential housing, the “One Stop” model will allow residents easy access to homeless and other service providers, as well as day-use facilities (showers, laundry, internet portals), a medical and dental clinic, mental health care, employment training and referral, job training and life skills training and multi-purpose meeting rooms. The new construction project included 36 single-room occupancy units for very low-income homeless adults. The formerly homeless residents will not only have a clean, safe living environment; they will also benefit from easy access to all necessary support services as they move toward independence.