Formerly homeless single women, female veterans, and families have found a place to call home in Jacksonville, Fla.
The 70-unit Sulzbacher Village also provides comprehensive medical, educational, and vocational services, including respite-care units for homeless individuals recently discharged from local hospitals.
“After eight years of dreaming and planning, Sulzbacher Village is finally a reality,” said Cindy Funkhouser, president and CEO of the Sulzbacher Center, co-developer of the community with Vestcor Cos. “… It is a game changer for homeless women and families in our community, and we hope it will become a model for the nation.”
To finance the $21 million development, Sulzbacher raised more than $6 million from over 400 individuals and donor groups. The organization is northeast Florida’s largest provider of comprehensive services for homeless men, women, and children.
In addition, Florida Housing Finance Corp. awarded Sulzbacher Village $9.2 million in 9% federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and $3.5 million in State Apartment Incentive Loan funds. Hunt Capital Partners facilitated an $8.4 million equity investment through its multi-investor fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 24.
“Sulzbacher Village is a milestone not only for Hunt Capital Partners, Sulzbacher, and the development team but also for the city of Jacksonville,” said Dana Mayo, executive managing director at Hunt Capital Partners. “The powerful combination of providing permanent housing, medical care, education classes, and job training programs serves as an effective solution to reduce homelessness and improve the quality of life for the entire community.”
Jacksonville-based Vestcor developed the project on behalf of Sulzbacher.
The new development offers 70 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments restricted to women and families that earn up to 33% and 60% of the area median income. The project also provides 36 women and family short-term stay units, 10 respite units for women recently released from local hospitals who need follow-up care, and eight units for homeless veteran women. Sulzbacher Village eliminates the need for 200 shelter beds in the Jacksonville community.
The project features an array of on-site services and amenities designed to equip homeless women with the skills needed to succeed and transition to traditional housing.
Sulzbacher Village includes a 7,000-square-foot health center that offers primary care, dental, vision, and behavioral services for women and children residing in the village and surrounding community. The campus has an early learning center, a computer lab, a children’s library, a playground, and a mobile food pantry. On-site education programs include job training classes, culinary classes, homework tutoring, mentorship initiatives, and female veteran programs for acclimating back into society.