“This helps to handle the crises they are going through, not just homeless but mental health crises which is one of our bigger causes for the reason why people are struggling with homelessness,” said Randall Stone, a Chico City Councilmember.
Action News Now reporter Kay Bennett reports on Valley View Apartments Grand Opening
An affordable housing project in Chico helps people with mental illnesses get off the streets and into their very own apartments, with direct access to counselors and other services. The Butte County community celebrated the grand opening of Valley View Apartments Wednesday afternoon on Silver Dollar Way in Chico. The project is six years in the making.
“When I lost my wife on Christmas day five years ago, I just fell apart, I wanted to die, I just didn’t care anymore,” said Wayne, a resident at Valley View Apartments.
Wayne has faced many tragedies in his life; before his wife passed away, he said his father committed suicide.
“That’s when something triggered, I quit my job, everything, and my wife told me to go get checked and that happened to her,” said Wayne.
Just five years later, that’s when Valley View came into Wayne’s life.
“Now I’m getting my independence back, feeling better about myself,” said Wayne.
Fourteen people who were homeless now have their very own, one bedroom apartment, and the project is here to stay.
“When you think about this being here for 55 years, that’s going to benefit so many people, so many families, and the community at large,” said James Coles, the director of North Valley Housing Trust.
Each resident has access to mental health treatment, weekly group sessions, and life skills training.
“This helps to handle the crisis they are going through, not just homeless but mental health crisis which is one of our bigger causes for the reason why people are struggling with homelessness,” said Randall Stone, a Chico City Councilmember.
The Valley View Apartments took a massive effort from a small village; the list of contributors includes Butte County Behavioral Health, North Valley Catholic Social Services, the City of Chico, North Valley Housing Trust, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Rabobank, Palm Communities, and a significant amount from the Mental Health Services Act.
“We were able to leverage about two million dollars towards this project with those funding,” said Dorian Kittrell, Director for Butte County Behavioral Health.
All to help folks get off the street and back on their feet, just like it did for Wayne.
“I didn’t want to live but I do now,” Wayne said. “It’s all getting better; I donate time at the bike shop and I like it. I like just being able to come home and relax, I love that.”