The mission of Live Oak Apartments is to provide safe and permanent housing
for households experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk of homelessness.
This project strives to provide a runway to re-stabilization and independence
through strong support services that are tailored to the needs of each resident household.
Although criteria for entry into Project Homekey is homelessness or at-risk-of-homelessness, people who move into Project Homekey are no longer homeless – they are housed and working to stabilize the factors that caused their experience of homelessness.
Project Homekey is not a shelter; it is a home.
Project Homekey is consistent with Goal 1.1. of the Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness in Mendocino County. This plan has been adopted by the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care, as well as the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and every incorporated city in Mendocino County.
Here’s a glimpse of the households that Project Homekey serves.
These individuals are real people in Mendocino County, although their names and certain details have been altered to protect their identity.
A Home for Seniors
Paula is 78 years old. She is a single mother who raised a son who struggles with addiction and lives out of state. She has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, but excellent cognitive function. Paula earns $908 per month in Social Security Retirement Income. She is completely sober – and has never used drugs or alcohol in her life. Before moving to Live Oak Apartments, Paula was camping under a bridge in her vehicle. She tried to keep hidden because she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. She was described by her caseworker as “the sweetest person you could ever meet.” Paula has a HUD Permanent Supportive Housing voucher that partially subsidizes her housing.
A Home for Mary and her Daughter
Mary is 24 years old. She and her two-year-old daughter, currently in foster care, were born and raised in Ukiah. Before arriving at Live Oak Apartments, Mary completed a six-month residential substance use treatment program in Humboldt County. If she had nowhere to live upon release from residential treatment, she would not be able to parent her child, and would be at much higher risk of relapsing into addiction. Reuniting with her child in stable housing makes her eligible for the CalWorks Housing Support Program, where she has a caseworker assigned to her and has expectations for seeking employment. She also has a social worker, assigned to her through Child Welfare Services, who is responsible for monitoring her well-being and that of her child. Mary has no criminal history.
A Home for a Combat Veteran
Jim is a combat veteran. Before arriving at Live Oak Apartments, he lived in a basement of a friend in Ukiah. He is 72 years old, but in great health. His retirement benefit totals roughly $1,000 per month. His daughter suffers from mental health and substance use issues and her child is currently in foster care. Jim wants to obtain custody of his 5-year-old granddaughter, but could not do so in his former living environment. Jim is eligible for the HUD-VASH housing subsidy program, but has not yet found a place willing to accept the voucher. Jim has a social worker assigned to him through the HUD-VASH program.
A Home for Recovery
Ben is a recovered alcoholic who is on dialysis, and must travel to the dialysis center two times per week. His retirement income is $994 per month. He has found a friend willing to let him park a trailer on his property, but the trailer is falling apart and the cost to repair the electrical system in the trailer would be higher than the value of the trailer itself. In its current condition, the trailer does not meet the definition of “a place meant for habitation.” The property is also quite far out of town, and Ben struggles to get to his dialysis treatments. By living at Live Oak Apartments, Ben is able to easily travel to his Orchard Street dialysis center. Ben has an assigned caseworker who has been seeking for months to find a solution for his housing situation.
A Home for Lisa and her Son
Lisa is a single mother of a 3-year-old son. She works part-time at Starbucks during the hours that her child is in daycare, but her income is quite low. Her primary barrier to finding an apartment is that she has terrible credit from poor financial decisions made in her early 20’s. Living at Live Oak Apartments will give her time to improve her credit and become more attractive to the mainstream housing market. Once her child is able to enter school full-time, she will be able to increase her employment hours. Until she is able to fully pay for her housing costs on her own, the CalWorks Housing Support program is able to partially subsidize the cost of her unit. She has a caseworker assigned to her already through the CalWorks program.