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TABLE OF CONTENTS A Note From Mark............................................4 By Mark McDaniel IMPACT STORIES: Salvation Army Freedom Center..................8 Blue Ribbon Lofts........................................... 10 The Rivers I and II............................................ 11 Piquette Square.............................................. 12 Silver Star Apartments + Zero Day............ 14 Dogwood Estates........................................... 16 YWCA.................................................... 18 Erskine Green Training Institute....20 Haven.................................................... 21 Deborah Strong Housing................ 22 River Crest Apartments................... 24 Herkimer.............................................. 25 Culture................................................. 28 Advertisers...................................................... 35
| PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
In 2018, Cinnaire will be celebrating its 25-year anniversary. 25 years!! When Jim Logue, as Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, asked me to consider starting what would be known as the Michigan Capital Fund for Housing neither of us envisioned a future like we have today. We had a lot of naysayers. I had phone calls from people who told me I had just made a really dumb move. Many others thought it was a flash in the pan idea. That first day in an empty office, sitting at my Grandpa’s card table with a phone and answering machine from home, those thoughts passed through my head. When I sat down with my fiancé Mary, we discussed the opportunity in front of me. As I discussed my vision, she listened and agreed it was worth a try. I explained to her that I had the opportunity to create an organization that would focus on helping people – something I longed for but, never found. I wanted to focus on building a staff that enjoyed working for a purpose. My goal was to always treat staff fairly and build a healthy and vibrant organization around these beliefs and goals. I wanted to help development partners grow and establish a reputation of sticking with them in good and bad times. Ultimately, my vision was to help people have a safe, affordable, and quality place to live. The organization wasn’t going to be about building boxes, it would focus on creating opportunities for people to live in a healthy community. We have taken those simple concepts over the last 25 years and have shown that you can be very successful when you focus your efforts on helping people. For years, we had a tagline that came from a discussion with my mentor and friend, Terry Duvernay. He told me when things 4
are tough to always remember “It’s about the people.” He was so right. Our board of directors have always had that commitment and understanding. They have been great champions for prioritizing focus on people. Our staff, partners, and the people who reside in communities we impact. We have had considerable “Impact” over the last 25 years. This edition of Avenues will focus entirely on the many stories of the impact Cinnaire has had on peoples’ lives. There are so many wonderful stories of positive changes. These stories put a face and voice to how important the Low Income Housing Credit Program, New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, State Credit Program, and HUD programs like HOME and CDBG are to communities across the nine states we serve. Now to the bittersweet part of my message. This will be the last edition of Avenues to Affordability that Cinnaire will be publishing. Using a sports comparison of champion athletes, the successful ones know when it is time to retire. Many wait too long and become irrelevant and tarnished while those who go out on top are remembered with fondness and greatness. We want the publication to go out on top of its game. In general, print publications are waning. Readership is strong, but serving a nine-state area is challenging. It has been getting more difficult to cover the entire footprint in a balanced manner. Publications are driven by advertising dollars and for a quality product, the CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 CINNAIRE
Ginosko Development Company “Building a Brighter Future Today” Ginosko Development Company (GDC) is a real estate development company specializing in the creation and preservation of quality affordable housing. GDC has a successful track record meeting the financing challenges of these developments, from MSHDA and HUD loan programs, tax-exempt bond programs, rental subsidy programs, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; to historic tax credits, brownfield credits and other specialized financing programs unique to the affordable housing industry. GDC is also known for its success in meeting the design, planning and environmental challenges of these developments. GDC’s residential communities are recognized for careful and coordinated planning, an experienced development team of top architects, attorneys, contractors and engineers, attention to detail and design quality, and respect for the environment. Visit our website to get to know us better!
www.Ginosko.com 41800 West 11 Mile Road, Suite 209 | Novi MI 48375 office 248.513.4900 | fax 248.513.4904
| PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE GreAt lAkes cApitAl
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costs are not minimal. The vast majority of our advertising dollars come from Michigan and Indiana, which again, is not reflective of our growth. Publishing a quarterly magazine is a very time consuming and complicated process that has been done admirably by the editor and publisher, Alternative Solutions for years. Cinnaire does not have the internal capacity to take on publishing. Couple all of this with our strategy for growth and it was time to move in a different direction.
Volume 20 | issue 1
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I have been very proud of the quality and response Alternative Solutions has provided to Avenues over the years. It was due in large part to the expertise and guidance provided the President, Mary McDaniel, CMP, with the support of her team Kelly Haracourt and Jen Calery. Over the years, design concepts have been provided by Pam Coven of Coven Creative, and Melissa Travis of Ink Ideas Graphic Design. All have had such a deep and
committed understanding of who Cinnaire is and how to convey our message clearly. It has been a great run and going out on top makes it all that much more valuable. Thank you all for your dedication and commitment! I also want to thank all our advertisers. Without your commitment and support, Avenues would have never been. I hope we have served you well over the years. As we enter our 25th year, we have committed our future to the WHY of Cinnaire. We all know and understand what Cinnaire does and how we do it. Good organizations know and focus on the what and how, but great organizations focus on WHY they do things. It is purpose-driven. Cinnaire has always been focused on people. But what is the WHY? To us our WHY is “to have an unwavering belief that all people deserve the opportunities provided by living in healthy communities”. Cinnaire is progressive, forwardmoving in a helpful, caring way. I hope you take the time to read the very moving stories of people who have been impacted by the work we do at Cinnaire with our development partners. There are a lot of inspirational stories of hope and finding purpose. We have so much more to do in the next 25 years. Staying focused on providing opportunity for people will ensure it will be another wonderful 25.
ISSUE 1 | 2017
A publicAtion of
ISSUE 4 | 2015
UND SERVICE S AL F PIT CA
INSIGHT TO SUCCESSFUL REBRANDING STRATEGIES
Cinnaire 1118 S. Washington Avenue Lansing, MI 48910
An in depth look
Make the mark. Discover the personal touch, the seamless service, and the expertise of our housing and community development professionals.
UE 3 - 2017
Rob Edwards, partner 517-336-7460 email@example.com plantemoran.com
AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
Salvation Army Freedom Center • CHICAGO, IL For over 70 years, the Salvation Army Freedom Center has served the needs of people living in the greater Chicago area. Previously operating out of a dilapidated building, the Freedom Center recently relocated to Chicago’s west side Humboldt Park neighborhood. 20M New Market Tax Credits was invested to help finance the brand new, 188,000 square foot facility. The three interconnected buildings will allow the Salvation Army to serve nearly 25,000 people a year. The Freedom Center is home to the Harbor Light Center, one of the Salvation Army’s largest substance abuse recovery programs in the United States. For over 70 years, they have provided comprehensive, specialized services to persons seeking to overcome the disease of substance and alcohol abuse. Pathway Forward, the Freedom Center’s residential work-release program helps men and women who have been imprisoned successfully re-enter society. Pathway not only provides valuable services to those individuals, but also benefits society by reducing crime and preventing recidivism. The program provides residential, social and vocational programming for up to 210 men and women.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS Type: Community Facility/ Treatment Center
The Harbor Lights Corps Community Center features a chapel, computer lab and a gymnasium. The center provides a space for the community to gather, to worship, to enjoy recreational activities together. The Corps Center serves as a gateway to many Salvation Army programs, such as feeding families, emergency assistance and job training programs. The Freedom Center is also the base of operations for the Salvation Army’s outreach ministry – Mobile Feeding and Mobile Outreach. Every single day, the mobile feeding unit makes 24 stops throughout Chicago, providing a hot meal for homeless men, women and families. The mobile outreach teams provide emergency transportation to shelters, enrollment in Salvation Army programs or referral to services needed, such as medical care. The Freedom Center team is led by Major Merrill and Nancy Powers. Walking the halls of the Freedom Center with them, one can’t help but feel the inspiration they bring to this community. Although they serve thousands of individuals each year, they know every person’s name. They know the history and the heart of each person’s story. Motivated by the Love of God, they truly live the mission of the Salvation Army – to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His Name without discrimination. The same dedication and commitment to serving those in need is shown by the case workers, counselors, professional staff and volunteers.
Warren started drinking alcohol when he was a small child. He started selling drugs when he was 15. He had been homeless all his life, sleeping under cars in the winter, selling drugs to survive. A drug counselor brought him to the Salvation Army in 2000. Warren said “I was scared to death when I got here. I met Major Nancy and she instilled in me that I had something.” At the time, Warren couldn’t read or write. He completed the intensive rehab program, graduating with honors. Now, he is celebrating sixteen years of sobriety. Warren works full-time for the mobile out-reach team, serving meals to the homeless. “I serve the homeless and food is my calling card. My job is to get food to people. If people need help and they want help getting off the streets – we are out there, trying to help. It could take months or years, but when someone is ready, we will be there to help.” Before coming to the Freedom Center, Warren was “living to try to survive and surviving to try and live.” Today, Warren is married to the love of his life, whom he met at the Freedom Center – they enjoy praying, attending church and spending time together at their waterfront home. And every day, he is there, giving back to the community and hoping, just hoping, today might be the day somebody asks for help getting sober.
Essential Funding Sources: • New Markets Tax Credit: $20M • Philanthropy: $42M • Sq. Footage: 188,00 • District: IL-07 8
Princess saw the Freedom Center while visiting a friend that lived nearby. As a single mother of two young children, living in a homeless shelter on the south side of Chicago, she was interested in the job training program. She enrolled in the eight-week training program. The first four weeks, Princess attended classes and received job training. She went on to complete the second half of the program and began working in the maintenance department at the center. Living in the shelter across town presented challenges, but Princess was determined to complete the program. “I’d wake up at 4 a.m. everyday. I would get my children ready and we get on a bus to get them to the babysitter. They were usually crying because they were hungry, but the shelter didn’t serve breakfast until 7 a.m. and I couldn’t bring my own food in. I use my food stamps to keep food at the babysitter’s house, she meets me at the bus stop with breakfast for my babies.” Princess then continues the rest of her long ride to the Freedom Center to get to work on time. This long, emotional start to her day at work doesn’t slow her down. With a smile that lights up the room and a twinkle in her eye, Princess is the type of person that makes others feel special. She has developed close friendships with others in the program, as well as her mentors that work at the center. “Before I started the training program, I was applying for 40 jobs a day. Nobody wants to hire a single mother that lives in a homeless shelter. Coming here, they give you all the tools you need for a job. If you show them you want to work and you’re a hard worker, they will find the resources for you. They will do whatever it takes to get you here.” Today, Princess is working full time and has moved into an apartment with her children. Her dream is to someday own a homeless shelter.
Joe has spent much of his life homeless or living in shelters. Growing up in a neighborhood with no access to resources and education, Joe turned to a life of crime, abusing and selling drugs on the street. After being released from prison, he went into a program that provided housing and supportive services for formerly incarcerated men. He was sober for eight months before he found himself living on the streets again, with nowhere to go. He had a relapse and entered an intense detox program before starting the substance abuse program at the Freedom Center. “I was very depressed when I came here. I had low self-esteem. I went thru the intake program, where they monitor you for 14-21 days. After that, I did the 28-day program. They taught me things about my behavior and my addiction that I had never heard before. This program is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” Joe was participating in intensive outpatient classes and looking for something to do to fill his time outside the classroom. It was suggested Joe talk to Renee, the Employment Services Manager at the Salvation Army. “My first thought was – this lady is going to talk a good game. It’s hard for me to trust people, but what if she is telling the truth and she wants to help me? Is it worth it to go thru this or should I just go back on the streets? I wasn’t giving my chance a chance. I’m so glad something inside of me said stick it out and stay. Renee talks a good game. And she backs it up, they really want to help you here.” Joe completed the training for a maintenance position. “Coming here, it was the overall warmth and generosity of everyone that gave me the opportunity to finish. I was missing that spiritual connection; I have that here. I’ve learned I need to grow into the man God created me to be. I let the process work for me. I’m no longer using and selling at gunpoint. I’m working on building a relationship with my son. I know before I can fully do that, I need to learn to love myself and be the best I can be. Today, I am grateful and I am blessed.”
Tim has had substance abuse problems for over 30 years. He had the desire to get sober, but life didn’t make it easy. His son was shot and killed while playing basketball on a Chicago neighborhood court. He experienced homelessness, mental and physical abuse. Tim knew his life was out of control after being attacked and beaten with a hammer. He was hospitalized because the blows to his head caused serious injuries. That’s when Tim’s daughter brought him to the Freedom Center. Tim is in the program at Harbor Light Center. In a few months, he will have achieved his first year of sobriety. “I got in and it saved my life,” Tim said. During his time at the center, Tim’s relationship with his daughter and grandchildren has strengthened. Tim credits the Freedom Center with saving his grandsons life. His grandson attended the Back-to-School Health Fair at the center, where he was diagnosed with diabetes – a condition that had never been diagnosed or treated. He was immediately taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he stayed for three days before being released. Tim’s daughter received education about diabetes and training on how to care for her son. Tim’s grandson is in much better health, spending most of his free time playing football – his Grandpa doesn’t miss a game. Tim says the Freedom Center “gave me a brand-new start. I found my spirituality. I praise God every day. I’m so thankful to my daughter for bringing me here. I’m finding happiness now. I love being called Grandpa, getting to see my grandkids. They come to the center for summer camp and to use the computer lab. Yeah, that is my happiness.” Tim has volunteered with the Salvation Army’s National Advisory Housing board meeting, completed the job training program, the discipleship certificate and is now working on attending job fairs to seek employment. Smiling, Major Nancy says, “Tim has grown two inches since he has been here.”
Joe is now working and can afford to live in his own apartment. AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
Blue Ribbon Lofts • MILWAUKEE, WI Blue Ribbon Lofts is a 95-unit mixedincome apartment community in the heart of the Pabst Brewery redevelopment, formerly the Pabst Brewery Keg House. Cinnaire provided a $1M predevelopment loan to support the initial planning stages of this Innovative and complex adaptive reuse project. Through the combination of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), as well as state and federal Historic Tax Credits the renovations at the historic Blue Ribbon Lofts served as a catalyst that spurred further economic development. When construction began in 2008, developer Gorman & Company, in partnership with Cinnaire, was one of the first to invest in a residential project in the neighborhood. Today, over $200M has been invested in the district. The area now known as The Brewery includes a hotel, restaurants, several apartment communities and office space. Designed to provide local artists, entrepreneurs and members of the creative class with a Live-Work-Play lifestyle, Blue Ribbon Lofts includes amenities such as a music studio, artists’ workspaces, a business center, conference rooms, a theater and presentation space, a fitness
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Family Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC: $9.2M • Federal Historic Tax Credit: $2.3M • State Historic Tax Credit: $604k • Homes: 95 • District: WI-04 10
center, outdoor playground and picnic area. The spacious units are characterized with modern, industrial design elements and provide an abundance of natural light. The building creates an inspiring ambiance, with brightly painted walls and local artwork displayed throughout. Lavelle moved into Blue Ribbon Lofts in June 2015. He waited several months for an affordable unit to open. Lavelle’s professional interest in the real estate development industry drew him to Blue Ribbon Lofts, as well as the location and many amenities offered at the apartments. Lavelle loved the renovation of the building and the economic development spurred by this project in the surrounding neighborhood. These lofts interested Lavelle, who aspired to start his own business. Shortly after moving into Blue Ribbon Lofts, Lavelle enrolled in the Associates in Commercial Real Estate Program (ACRE). ACRE is an industry-supported initiative that recruits and retains minorities for professional careers in the field of commercial real estate. The goal of ACRE is to expand minority representation in the commercial real estate fields of development, property management and construction management. Administered by LISC Milwaukee, in partnership with Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this program offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of these industries while creating a valuable network of students, ACRE graduates and industry professionals. Chris Laurent, Cinnaire Senior Vice President, volunteers his time as a lead instructor for the program.
Chris became a mentor to Lavelle through ACRE. After graduating at the top of his class, Lavelle stayed in touch with Chris, relying on him for advice and guidance on navigating the world of real estate development. “Chris was a really helpful instructor in ACRE and I am lucky to continue a relationship with him after I graduated,” said Lavelle. “Chris is known as a financial expert in this industry and has really helped me to enhance my skills and knowledge about commercial and residential real estate. After graduating from ACRE, I had enough experience and relationships to start my own company.” While enrolled at ACRE, Lavelle worked as a commercial underwriter for a Milwaukeebased Community Development Financial Institution. Upon graduation, he started his own company, Young Development Group. Living at Blue Ribbon Lofts allows Lavelle the convenience of having an apartment large enough to accommodate a home office with beautiful views of Milwaukee, while also providing him with access to the on-site business center and conference room for hosting his clients. His longterm goal is to purchase a home in the Milwaukee area, but for now, he loves living at Blue Ribbon Lofts. “Overall, my experience living here seems to be just perfect timing. I am living in this great development, studying real estate, participating in the ACRE program and forming relationships with the professional community in Milwaukee. I love being able to say that I am living in an affordable apartment downtown. With all the exciting development happening in Milwaukee, my new company, my career in real estate – it is synergistic timing for me to be here.”
The Rivers I and The Rivers II • OSHKOSH, WI Imagine waking up to morning views of the sun rising over the Fox River. You step outside and enjoy the peacefulness, sitting on your beautiful balcony overlooking the river. You plan your day. First, a meeting with your personal trainer, followed by an appointment at the beauty salon. Then a phone call to the Piggly Wiggly, who will deliver your groceries for the week. Next, maybe a group fitness class, bingo, a visit to the library, a game of cards or gathering your friends to put together a puzzle in the community room. Later, you and your neighbors meet at the gazebo for a cookout. You do these activities without leaving the building you call home. This is a typical day for the residents at The Rivers Senior Living, an apartment community nestled on the banks of the Fox River and the Oshkosh Riverwalk. Boasting a large outdoor patio outfitted with a gazebo, tables and a grill, The Rivers also offers an exercise room, personal training, large community room, library, internet cafe, beauty salon, country store and underground parking with easy access to two elevators. The one and two bedroom apartments each include a washer/dryer in the unit, dishwasher, large walk in closets, access to large storage units and free Wi-Fi.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Senior Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $9M • HOME Funds: $462k • Homes: 100
The Rivers I and II required $9M in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $462,000 In HOME funds, both federal sources which leveraged additional local and state resources, including a grant from the City of Oshkosh as well as state funding to cover environmental remediation. These federal programs allow the development to have deeper income targeting and ensure long-term affordability for senior residents. Joan moved to Oshkosh to be closer to her daughter after her husband passed away. A retired caterer, Joan loves the kitchen in her apartment and the large commercial kitchen for residents to use in the community room. She has made many friends while living at The River and often, they gather to host potlucks in the community room and cookouts on the patio. Joan feels lucky to have a balcony on the river, where she enjoys sitting and watching the people on the Riverwalk, especially in the warm summer months. Joan keeps active, taking advantage of the personal training service once a week and frequenting the exercise room. She also enjoys doing puzzles in the library. “I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Joan says. “I wouldn’t want anything else. I’ve got everything I need here.” Charlie used to live in a condo in Oshkosh, but it was getting too expensive for him to continue living there. Charlie said finding The Rivers was perfect for him.
“The apartments are nice and the rent is very fair. The biggest asset is the people. They are very friendly here. If I have a problem, I can talk to a neighbor. Many of the ladies share cookies, desserts and meals. If I need a ride to an appointment, one of the other residents will take me and then we’ll go out to eat afterwards. I feel very secure and happy living here!” Two of Charlie’s four children live nearby in Oshkosh. They visit often, along with his eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Jean and Mel have been happily married for 67 years. Laughing, Jean shared “I’m 92 and Mel is 80. I robbed the cradle!” Jean and Mel love the amenities provided to them as residents of The Rivers. “We can do almost everything we need without leaving the building. The grocery store delivers to us. We don’t have to walk outside to take out the trash – we just put it down the shoot and they take care of it for us. Our mail is delivered inside the building. If there is something we need, we can just ask – the staff is so friendly.” Jean and Mel have made many close friends and they enjoy participating in activities with their neighbors. They are often visited by their three children, ten grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren, who love the location on the Riverwalk.
• District: WI-06 AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
Piquette Square • DETROIT, MI Piquette Square for Veterans is a 150-unit apartment project in Detroit designed to house and care for homeless veterans. Developed by Southwest Solutions, Piquette Square was financed through a variety of crucial public and private resources including: HOME funds, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds, and Brownfield Credits. . Piquette Square offers mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, on-site job training, computer labs, educational programs and other supportive services to help homeless veterans develop healthy and independent living skills. When new residents move in, they are provided with furniture, food and necessities. The perception that all homeless people are beggars, mentally ill, violent or addicts is common in our society. Chery Allen, Veterans and Volunteer Resource Facilitator at Southwest Solutions, works with the Veteran residents at Piquette Square. “When people come to us, a lot of the time their issues with homelessness are not alcohol, drug, or prostitution driven. A lot of people that come to us have come
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Veterans Permanent Supportive Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $6.7M • HOME: $1.2M • AHP: $500k • Brownfield Credit: $1.5M • Homes: 150 • District: MI-13
from circumstances beyond their control. We have Veterans living at Piquette that are not yet emotionally, mentally or physically able to go to work. Some of them may never be able to return to work. They are safe here, they aren’t living on the streets or under a bridge. But we also have a large pool of Veterans that are eager and willing to work.” Rickey Wright grew up in a small town in Alabama. Living in a rural town that was recently integrated, the only African American professionals he saw were teachers – and he thought that was the best job an African American man could get. When Rickey moved to Nashville for college, he realized he could be anything he wanted and switched his major to pre-med. During college, he joined the ROTC, so when he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Med/Biology, he was also commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Rickey’s acceptance to medical school allowed him to defer his active duty until he graduated and completed his residency. He finished medical school, then completed three years of training as a surgeon, eventually switching his studies to focus on emergency medicine and family practice. After his residency, Rickey became a flight surgeon for the Air Force, serving first at Dyess Air Force Base, then Kadena Air Force Base and finally at McClellan Air Force Base, where he served as a Major. Although the military was grooming him for a hospital commander position, he decided a desk job wasn’t for him and he retired. Rickey dedicated nine years of his life to the Air Force. Rickey was invited to join a private medical
practice in Ohio that was integrating family care into a system that also provided chiropractic, physical therapy and massage therapy. After working there for two years, he bought the practice and ran it successfully for 15 years. In 2010, Rickey was diagnosed with diabetes and it progressed to pancreatitis. “My bills piled up. I couldn’t work. Everything just collapsed. I couldn’t pay my mortgage. My house went into foreclosure. They took all my worldly possessions, even my diplomas. I lost everything that day. I lost my house, my practice, my cars. I lost my dignity. All in one fell swoop.” Rickey traveled to Detroit in 2011 to recuperate with family. In November that year, he was hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis for the second time and nearly died. After recovering, he took a job working as a security officer. Then tragedy struck again. “I was crossing Michigan Avenue and that is the last thing I remember. I was hit by a car. Most of the bones were broke in my body – both arms were shattered times, four bones in my back were broke, and every rib on my left side. The accident punctured my lung and my heart, it took all the cartilage out of my knees.” When he recovered, a social worker in the hospital helped Rickey get into transitional housing at the Salvation Army in Detroit. He lived there for a year and a half before getting an apartment at Piquette Square. Rickey began working part-time jobs before landing a full-time position in the medical field – he works as a Community Health Associate at Partners 4 Health, a partnership of four leading health and human service agencies in Wayne and Oakland counties. Rickey volunteers as President of the local chapter of REBOOT, an organization that helps Veterans prepare for civilian life after service. He is CINNAIRE
also a member of the Board of Directors for Southwest Counseling Services. “I had to start over without anything. It’s been a long five years. Stressful, disappointing and humiliating; but, everything happens for a reason. Living at Piquette, I have my own place, my own identity. I’m more open now. I used to be an introvert, but I’ve met some good people living here. Being Veterans give us a genuine camaraderie, something really special. This is just a step that’s going to make me a better physician in the long run. It’s made me humble and more compassionate, more sympathetic and empathetic.” Rickey is working on bringing his continuing education credits up to date so that he can get his medical license in Michigan. He wants to resume his practice in the next year. “That’s my hope. I’ve been out for five years and that is a long time to be away from something you love, something I’ve done my whole adult life. I want to work now with those that are less privileged. I want to work with a nonprofit or community based clinic so that I can give back. It’s taught me a lot living at Piquette. I’ve grown more. I’ll take a lot of that away with me, into everything I do in my personal and professional life.”
Glenda Mann has spent most of her life caring for others. She joined the United States Army following high school, serving her county for four years. After retiring from the Army, Glenda became a police officer for the City of Detroit. When a family member became ill, she quit her job and moved to California to care for her. She then spent several years moving around the United States, caring for friends and family in need. By the time she returned to Detroit, she had depleted her own resources taking care of others. Glenda spent time staying with friends and family before ending up homeless. “I was couch surfing, living on what I called friends and families sympathetic sofas before ending up at the shelter. I had bed bugs and roaches crawling all over me, but I had a place to sleep. I was grateful to have a roof over my head. I have learned to adapt to a lot of environments and situations. I made it work for me, because you do what you have to.” While living at the shelter, Glenda took the bus to work at the Veterans Affairs kitchen. On her commute, she watched the progress of Piquette Square. At the time, she didn’t know it was going to be affordable housing for homeless veterans. She dreamed of one day having her own apartment in a building like Piquette. Glenda applied for Section 8 housing and was overjoyed to find out Piquette Square had openings. “I was riding back and forth by this building every day when it was just a skeleton. I told myself someday, that will be my new apartment, that building will be my home. When I signed up for Section 8 housing and they said Piquette Square had an opening I thought to myself, God has listened to me, God has heard me. He knew this was where I should be before I even did. It became my mission to start where I was at and move forward.” With support and guidance from the staff at Piquette, Glenda enrolled in college
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and graduated with her associates degree in computer information systems. She intends to complete her Bachelor’s degree, but is currently dedicating her time to volunteering. She was recently the project manager for the Jet Blue Soar with Reading program. As project manager, Glenda was responsible for coordinating the delivery of 100,000 books throughout Detroit. She was so dedicated to getting these free books into the hands of children in Detroit, she would often be seen riding her bike in the rain to get the work done. Glenda volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Southwest Solutions and as a seamstress for the Piquette residents, providing free clothing repair and alterations. Glenda is also focused on her role as President of the Piquette Square Tenants Council, a group she created so the residents could support each other. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a report estimating that 20 Veterans commit suicide a day. Many Veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and combat related guilt. Glenda hopes that the tenant council can be a valuable resource in preventing future suicides. “I wanted to form the tenant council so we could check up on each other. We are advocates for each other and check in on the residents here. The Veteran deaths that are happening and we don’t want those deaths to be in vain. Some of those deaths were preventable. We are a community here. We live together and take care of each other. We can band together to prevent future deaths.” Glenda expressed her gratitude for the staff at Piquette Square and the investors who joined Southwest Solutions in developing this much-needed housing for Veterans in Detroit. “Most investors, they wouldn’t try to see me like this, see me sitting here. I am a person. We are not debits on a balance sheet, people aren’t credits that belong on some list. We are people and sometimes, we need help. I thank you for being here and for seeing me. I thank you for investing in places like Piquette Square. I thank you for investing in me.” 13
Silver Star Apartments + Zero Day • BATTLE CREEK, MI One of the most significant hurdles that many Veterans find themselves up against is homelessness. The scene on move-in day at Silver Star Apartments reiterates this reality. Instead of u-hauls, trailers, or moving vans lining the parking lot, many of Silver Star’s new residents arrived by foot or were dropped off by family or friends. Their belongings slung over their shoulders in large, plastic garbage bags. Thankfully, Silver Star Apartments has opened its doors to provide Veterans a safe, secure, and supportive place to call home. Residents can display their belongings on shelves in their living rooms. They can fill their refrigerators with food. They can lay their heads down every night, not having to worry about where they are going to sleep the next night. This, and so much more, is what Silver Star Apartments was built to do. Silver Star Apartments, which is comprised of Phase I and Phase II, is located in Battle Creek, Michigan, adjacent to the Battle Creek VA Medical Center. In order to complete Phase I, Marvin D. Veltkamp, President of Trilogy Development, Inc. was one of the first for-profit developers to do an Extended Use Lease Agreement on Federal Veteran Affairs land. Without support from Cinnaire, by providing Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds,
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Veterans Permanent Supportive Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $16.7M • HOME Funds: $5.2M • Homes: 176 • District: MI-03
and Veteran housing consultants, Phase I and Phase II of Silver Star Apartments would not have been possible. In response to the significant need for this type of facility, a Phase III is currently being pursued. The infrastructure, location, and resources that Silver Star and Zero Day offer to residents is unparalleled to any other Veteran housing facility in the nation. The amenities at Silver Star, which include a basketball court, library and computer center, workout rooms, art classrooms, counseling offices, and a metal and woodshop further support the efforts of Zero Day. Zero Day was originally created to help prevent chronic homelessness and provide Veterans with the necessary skills they need to enter the workforce. Over time, Zero Day’s purpose has evolved into a much larger mission. Today, due to the partnership with Silver Star, Zero Day is able to offer Veterans accredited vocational training, apprenticeship opportunities, supportive services, life skills mentoring, career coaching, and job placement. With its headquarters located at Silver Star Apartments, Zero Day is able to walk alongside Veterans on an everyday basis. Shae Thirty-four years old, eight years of active duty in the United States Army, four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over two-thousand miles in a Jeep, packed with all of his belongings, with the hope of finding a life that is driven by mission and filled with purpose. This is the journey of a man, who proudly fought to protect the freedom of Americans, only to find himself without the resources or support to live a dignified life after serving his country.
Shae, like many other United States Veterans, has struggled to find his place in a world that has become foreign him. “The hardest part about being in the military is the transition back to civilian life. Hands down. Nobody tells you that. You train for deployment. You prepare for it. Mentally and physically; but, you aren’t trained or prepared for returning home.” Veterans, returning to civilian life, often grieve the loss of brotherhood, the adrenalin rush, and the support they had while serving in the military. In addition to the grief, Veterans are often faced with numerous hurdles, such as homelessness, lack of job training opportunities, physical and mental health issues, and the crippling stereotype that society has of Veterans. Thankfully, the partnership between Silver Star Apartments, a permanent-supportive housing facility for Veterans, and Zero Day, a training and support organization for Veterans, is making significant strides in knocking down these hurdles. When Shae returned from his final deployment to his hometown of Tacoma, Washington, he found himself bored and unenthused, and quite frankly, lost. “I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be.” A fellow Army brother had heard about Zero Day, and thought it would be a good fit for Shae. Within two weeks of hearing of what Zero Day had to offer, Shae packed up his jeep and headed east, toward Lansing, Michigan. Zero Day has provided the opportunity for Shae to build a new life for himself. He was able to acquire housing, accredited job training, and an apprenticeship. Through Zero Day’s construction management program, he has been able to utilize his passion for working with his hands by mastering construction skills. He has also had the opportunity to work with the DNR CINNAIRE
and Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors to provide disabled Veterans with a safe and accessible environment to hunt and enjoy the outdoors. Not only has Zero Day allowed Shae to find a mission and purpose for his day-to-day life, but he has also been significantly impacted by the vision of Tim Hunnicutt, Co-Founder of Zero Day. “The thing about Zero Day, is that there is a very, very small percentage of the population that have the three major things that make them a serious influence in the world: intellect, drive, and vision. Tim is one of the few people that I have met in my life that has all three traits; and, he’s using all of it to help Veterans. He’s doing it to help these people that are coming back. Most people will go their entire lives without meeting someone like Tim. It’s very special to not just meet them, but to be able to help them with their vision. It really is an incredible opportunity.” Scott Being raised in a military family, Scott was destined to serve his country. He dedicated five years of his life, with three deployments overseas, to being a Marine. Unfortunately, like Shae, he was not well-prepared for what life would be like when he returned home. He didn’t have a plan or direction for his life. He enrolled in college, but still found himself longing for something to fill the void that was left when he ended his military career. “When I got home, I re-connected with a group of buddies that never stopped partying. I got dragged down with them and quickly got in trouble. I got a DUI about a month after I returned from active duty. With that, all my opportunities were taken off the table.” While Scott was enrolled in school full-time, he also had a baby on the way, and desperately needed a job. With his recent DUI, he found it difficult to find a job that would make ends meet. That is when he heard about Zero Day, and all that it has to offer to Veterans that need and want a helping hand. Like Shae, Scott was given the opportunity to be an apprentice with Zero Day, as well as gain accredited job training. Today, Scott is a Recruiter for Zero Day, where he is able to utilize his leadership skills to recruit other Veterans who need assistance and coaching. He stresses that Zero Day is not a “hand-out” to Veterans, AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
rather it was created to serve as a gateway to opportunity. “With Zero Day, the possibilities are endless for Veterans.” Bob Prior to moving into Silver Star Apartments, Bob’s life was filled with highs and lows. He had a respectable military career as a medic for the Air Force. He created a beautiful family with his wife and two children. He built an extensive resume of education and various careers. He was on the path to a life of wealth and great success. One day, Bob’s life, that showed so much promise, began to unravel. His marriage fell apart. His father became ill. Bob became seriously injured due to working at a capacity that his body couldn’t handle. He didn’t have a place to call home. His life completely fell apart, to the point that he didn’t want to live it any longer. “I died and came back a few times in the ambulance. I thought, there’s got to be a reason that I lived. I decided to come back [to Battle Creek] to be with my kids. Thank God that I had that opportunity.” Today, Bob has taken control of his life. He is rebuilding his physical strength on the Silver Star basketball court and in the workout rooms. He has found emotional healing through the counseling services that are available to him. He is able to spend quality time in his new home at Silver Star with his children. He has also been able to utilize his craftsmanship skills in the woodshop to build flag boxes for military families that have lost a loved one. To add to his recent successes, Bob was selected as the first Silver Star resident to become a Zero Day recruit. With support from Zero Day and his strong desire to help others, Bob is currently training to become a Peer Support Specialist for the VA. Bob feels that he has been given a second chance in life.
John served in the Army during the postVietnam era. While there was peace in the world at that time, John eventually found himself faced with a battle of his own to fight. The war of drug addiction. After years of struggling, John sought help at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center Apartments, which is located adjacent to Silver Star Apartments. After completing a six-month residential program, John was prepared to leave his addiction war behind, and start anew. He was able to move into an apartment at Silver Star. He attributes his continued sobriety to the resources, support, and opportunities that Silver Start Apartments and Zero Day have offered him. Specifically, he’s taken on a leadership role as the “Greenhouse Champion” at Silver Star. In this role, he has not only built a team of volunteers to tend to the on-site Greenhouse, he has also found gardening to be an integral part of his recovery process. “When you are addicted, and you stop that, there is immediately that void. If you don’t fill the void with something healthy and constructive, the old things will fill the void for you. That is the beauty of the greenhouse for me. It is on my list of healthy things in my life that I can do. It sounds real simple. But, sometimes the answers are real simple. Even when I am pulling weeds out there, I enjoy it. There is a calming peace about it.” The greenhouse, which was curated by Zero Day, provides fresh vegetables to all of the residents at Silver Star Apartments. In addition to the greenhouse, John and his team are tending to an orchard that was donated to the property by the Bloomfield Hills Republican Women’s Club. Through these projects, residents are learning new skills, working as a team, and filling those voids that once plagued their lives.
“I don’t know how anybody doesn’t appreciate this. This is a godsend. This is something that gives a person a chance.”
In military terms, Zero Day stands for “the day before something significant happens.” July 31, 2009, was Zero Day for Silver Star Apartments. On August 1, 2009, opening day at Silver Star Apartments, something very significant started to happen. United States Veterans, that were previously living on the streets, without jobs, and struggling with addictions, were given the RESPECT, THE HONOR, and THE DIGNITY that they each deserve.
Dogwood Estates • WALKERTON, IN To see Dogwood Estates today, it’s hard to imagine the neighborhood it used to be. Located in Walkerton, a small rural town in Indiana, the neighborhood was developed by the federal government to accommodate factory workers during World War II. The homes were called Plywood Villages, built on piers with no insulation or foundations. The intention was to provide temporary housing and demolish the neighborhood after the war – that never happened. Fast forward to 2008. The 85 families living in what is known as the West York neighborhood are paying outrageous rents for substandard housing. Due
to the poor construction of the homes, utility bills are forcing most residents into a life of poverty. Some of the poorest people in the county are living in the neighborhood. Ceilings are caving. Floors have holes. The city receives over 20 calls a month for frozen pipes. The streets are so narrow, an ambulance, fire truck or emergency personnel can’t get to the homes. The Town of Walkerton made the bold choice to find a way to tear down the neighborhood and revitalize the area. The time was right – thanks to stimulus funding, developers Steve Walters and Mitch Walters worked with the Town of Walkerton, Cinnaire,
First Source Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank, Neighborhood Development Association and others to secure a complex financing package, which included Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), HOME funds, CDBG funding and Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funding. This essential funding allowed the team to tear down the existing 86 homes and develop 40 beautiful, affordable, lease-to-purchase homes on the site. Now known as Dogwood Estates, the project has provided an unprecedented impact on the small community, spurring economic development, improving the school systems and changing the lives of over 200 families.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Lease-Purchase Family Homes Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $5.4M • Affordable Housing Program (AHP): $556k • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): $208k • HOME Funds: $3M • Homes: 40 • District: IN-02 16
Melissa was initially doubtful when she heard about Dogwood Estates. A single Mom to two teenage boys, Melissa was in a position where she couldn’t afford to buy a home and manage the maintenance. She had hoped to find affordable housing in a neighboring town and remembering the days of West York, was hesitant to visit Dogwood Estates. After her first visit, she immediately signed the waiting list. Melissa couldn’t be happier with her decision to move to Dogwood. “I have a very nice new home and I have help maintaining it. If the roof were to leak or there was some other major repair to be done, I have help for that.” She stated with pride, “I often come home from work to find my lawn has already been mowed — my neighbors will mow my lawn for me if its needed! Dogwood Estates has really improved the entire community. People now move to Walkerton to live here; more people are purchasing homes in the surrounding neighborhood.” Melissa’s son Jacob loves that he can walk to school. “I have lots of new friends”, he beamed, “We are always playing basketball, football, jumping on the trampoline. There are kids of all ages living in the neighborhood, we all look out for each other.” Melissa’s older son Nicholas enjoys playing for the local high school football team, the John Glenn Falcons. Phil Buckmaster, Walkerton’s Economic Director and the Junior Achievement Volunteer Teacher at the high school shared, “As the neighborhood revitalized, the schools improved. Our schools have a 98% graduation rate. We are the 7th AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
safest community in Indiana. Some of our athletic teams are being scouted by Penn State. This is how much our community has improved since we developed Dogwood Estates.” Teresa and Tim were living in South Bend, IN, when they heard about Dogwood Estates. As the parents of 5 children, they wanted a safe, affordable place to call home. Although both employed full-time, Teresa’s student loans limited their options and they found their family living in public housing that was unsafe, in a neighborhood where the children couldn’t play outside. Now, they live in a 4-bedroom, 2-story affordable home, with plans to purchase the home after the 15 year LIHTC compliance period. Tim is thrilled to be out of the toxic environment they were previously in. “Living here has made me a better husband and father. We are away from the riff raff in our old neighborhood. I feel lucky to speak to my neighbors, to know they look out for my children. I love living here, there is no place we would rather be!”
Tessa Before moving in to Dogwood Estates, Tessa and her three daughters were living in an old farmhouse. In addition to excessive utility bills, Tessa was constantly working to fix problems throughout the old house. When the girl’s father left, Tessa couldn’t maintain the home on her own and needed to find safe, affordable housing – for the first time ever on her own! Now, living at Dogwood Estates, Tessa says, “This is the first home I’ve ever rented alone and I’m so proud of myself for getting here. We love living in this neighborhood. We feel super safe, the home is brand new and beautiful – I used to have to prime my own well and now I can make a phone call if I have any maintenance issues. It is a huge deal for us to live here, I’m thankful for the opportunity!” Her girls enjoy living across the street from the playground and being so close to their school. They also have many friends in the neighborhood.
Teresa added, “We have never lived in a community where everybody is so involved. It’s hard to keep the kids inside now – they have friends in the neighborhood, they can play outside, ride bikes, play basketball, walk home from school. Walkerton has a wonderful school system and the kids are excelling now – they were at risk of falling behind at their old school. We live closer to family and have more opportunities living here.”
YWCA • SOUTH BEND, IN In 2003, Cinnaire provided a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investment to support the new construction for the YWCA of St. Joseph County Building Corporation, a 54-unit facility that provides services for women that are victims of domestic violence, undergoing treatment for chemical dependency, homeless and in need of transitional housing and disabled women who need permanent supportive housing. They also provide domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual assault, dating violence and economic empowerment programs and services as well as individual and family counseling services. In 2016, the YWCA of North Central Indiana provided services to over 2,000 women and children in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties. Seventy
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Permanent Supportive Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC: $1.9M • HOME: $355k
percent of these women came to the YWCA with fatality risk factors, victims of abuse that included gun violence, strangling and life threatening conditions. Domestic violence victims find themselves in desperate situations and often, it is difficult to locate supportive services. The YWCA also serves as an advocacy organization, providing extensive community outreach and awareness on domestic violence, sexual assault and teen dating violence. The need for this work is critical – many victims of assault and abuse face great barriers to receiving appropriate support and care. The YWCA works with local emergency personnel, medical providers, elected officials and the court systems to advocate on behalf of victim’s needs.
Ruth was living in a situation where she suffered from physical, verbal and mental abuse. Her husband wouldn’t allow her to have any independence. The abuse began when he took her driver’s license away and wouldn’t allow her access their bank accounts. Physical abuse started after their son, Connor, was born. Her husband became aggressive toward her. By the time Connor turned two, her husband’s behavior turned hostile to him, as well. Though Connor had achieved the developmental milestones of a two-yearold, suddenly his behavior changed and he began to regress. She found the YWCA and moved in with her son. For early childhood age victims, child centered play therapy allows children to express themselves through the symbolic world of a child. Therapists can diagnose the type of abuse a child may have suffered through play therapy. Early intervention is priority – while a young child’s brain is still developing, therapists can be successful in repairing their full capacity for development after traumatic experiences. The counseling is starting to help Connor. Ruth is now employed full-time and is looking forward to the future, when she and Connor are ready to start a new life, outside of the safety and security of the YWCA. For now, Ruth says, living at the YWCA saved their lives.
• Homes: 30 • District: IN-02 18
Ula had been married for two years when the abuse started. She was constantly on edge, never knowing when her husband would attack her. She tried to fight back once before calling the police. Because she scratched her husband’s face, the police arrested her for domestic violence. The abuse continued and became worse, but now she was afraid to seek help. She was worried if she got in trouble again, her five children may be taken from her.
She tried to leave her husband, but he wouldn’t allow it. Ula’s husband raped her and when he found out she was pregnant, he injured her so badly, she lost the baby. He was charged with battery of a pregnant woman and sent to jail. When he was released, he broke into Ula’s apartment and stabbed her, but fear of having her children taken away prevented her from being brave enough to report him. Ula’s son reported the attack to his teacher and thru support from the school system, she could relocate to the security of the YWCA facility with her children.
Today, Ula and her children are happy living at the YWCA. They are receiving counseling and Ula is working on getting her GED. Thanks to the services provided and the friendships she has formed with the women living at the YWCA, she is slowly regaining confidence and is exploring options for future employment to help support her family. She is no longer living in fear. Her children are excelling in school, improving their grades and fully enjoying the recreational activities provided to them through the YWCA.
Debbie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age. Once known as “maniac depression,” bipolar disorder causes mood swings between intense emotional highs and lows. She became a victim of sexual abuse as a child when a neighbor molested her. By the time she was a teenager, Debbie had begun to experiment with drugs, leading her to a life of addiction, abuse, rape and violence. In 2015, she overdosed from heroin and knew she needed help.
substance abuse and domestic violence. The two issues are addressed and treated at the same time with emphasis placed on understanding how the two are interrelated. The eight to ten-week program provides group and individual counseling, case management, life skills and parenting classes, shelter, food, clothing and access to medical care.
I nearly died, overdosing multiple times on heroin. The program at the YWCA saved my life. I did the work because they gave me the tools to succeed. They are so supportive here. I graduated from the YWCA Breaking Free program. My children are living with my parents while I work on becoming somebody they can be proud of. I earned my way back into their life after I graduated from the program. I am working on getting my GED then will look for full-time employment. Thanks to the YWCA, I have the support and resources needed to get sober. Now, I need to work on my education and finding a full-time job. I would love to be a drug counselor someday and help others that are struggling.”
The YWCA’s Breaking Free program is a unique and innovative holistic treatment plan for women with a history of both
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“I was born an addict. Suffering from bipolar and being molested when I was a child set me on a self-destructive path. I hated myself, had no self-confidence and thought I deserved to bebeaten and raped. My life became unmanageable. I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone my children. I felt like the world ended when they took my kids away from me.
Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI) • MUNCIE, IN EGTI is the first teaching hotel and training institute for individuals with disabilities in the United States. The Arc of Indiana Foundation, a statewide advocacy organization for people with disabilities, developed the model for EGTI. The Arc is committed to all people with intellectual and development disabilities, realizing their goals of learning, living, working and fully participating in the community. Cinnaire has invested $11 Million in New Markets Tax Credits, over a third of the total development cost, to finance the Institute. Thanks to essential NMTC financing and mission-driven partners, folks traditionally left out of the economic mainstream have an opportunity to develop skills that promote selfsufficiency. Housed within a Courtyard Marriot, EGTI trains students with disabilities in a post-secondary training opportunity in hospitality, food service or healthcare. The institute will train an estimated 200 people from around the state of Indiana each year in any variety of hotel and restaurant operations, plus six areas of healthcare. In the first nine months of operation, EGTI graduating classes are already at a 65 percent job placement rate. Schedules include a variety of classes, both in the traditional classroom and hands on training within the hotel
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Workforce Development Facility Essential Funding Sources: • New Markets Tax Credit: $20M • Philanthropy: $15M • Sq. Footage: 114,000
operations, on-site restaurant or at the local hospital. Students live at the Courtyard just as one might in a dorm. Tuition, room and board includes meals at either of the Courtyard’s restaurants, Ivy Tech’s culinary student restaurant or any of Ball State University or Ivy Tech dining halls. Morgan recently completed the hospitality program at EGTI. Morgan’s love of cooking began when he was seven years old. He worked in a restaurant in his hometown of Martinsville, IN, before moving to Muncie to attend EGTI. Morgan loves the sense of independence he has living at the hotel and how the experience has taught him to be more independent. While enrolled and living at the Courtyard, Morgan said “I love being around new food, cooking, learning new stuff. I’ve gained new experience and made lots of new friends. I really love going around town, going to events at Ball State, hanging out in the student center. Someday, I want to be a chef. My goal after graduating is to get a job working for Scotty’s in Indianapolis. It would be so cool to live in the city and to get my own apartment!” We are happy to report – since the time of his interview, Morgan has graduated with a Prep Cook Certification from EGTI, as well as his Certified Kitchen Cook certification through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and his ServSafe Certification through the National Restaurant Association. Morgan is living downtown Indianapolis, working at Scotty’s Brewhouse as a prep cook. Now he is focused on getting his own apartment.
Zach echoed Morgan’s thoughts on gaining independence, saying “living here, I am learning to be as independent as possible. I finally have a real sense of what it is like to live independently, which has always been my goal. I am finally learning that here. I have been more independent in my time living here than I have been my entire life.” Zach, who is a quadruplet and has one younger sibling, thinks he will be the first in his family to permanently move out of their parents home – sharing this lights up Zach’s face with a big grin! He enrolled in the Front Desk program at EGTI and is also working on his associates degree in General Studies at Ivy Tech. When asked why he chose the front desk program Zach said “I like the fact that I get to talk to people. For a really long time, I’ve wanted a job where I could talk to people. Thanks to Erskine, I got that opportunity! In a hotel, somebody is going to walk in the door that is different all the time, so I get to meet people from all over the world. My first goal after graduating is to get a job at a Marriot in Downtown Indianapolis. Eventually, I would love to work in a hotel at a spring break hot spot!” Zach recently received the Certified Guest Service Professional and Certified Front Desk Representative certificates from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. He is busy sending out his resume and currently has several job interviews scheduled.
• District: IN-06 20
*names have been changed for confidentiality reasons
HAVEN • PONTIAC, MI The HAVEN Emergency Shelter and Counseling Program provides services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their children in Oakland County. Without the New Markets Tax Credit allocation through Cinnaire’s New Markets subsidiary, HAVEN’s new facility would not have broken ground for many years. Instead of turning away victims, HAVEN is able to provide housing and services to more individuals. Equipped with 16 resident rooms, a shared full kitchen, dining, living rooms, children’s play room and teen room, residents also have access to an organic garden, meditation garden, half-court basketball, playground, Wi-Fi and computers. Research shows that many individuals stay in abusive situations due to not wanting to leave a pet behind. In response to this, HAVEN recently opened an on-site pet shelter to residents. In collaboration with the Emergency Shelter and 24-Hour Crisis Line, the HAVEN Counseling Program equips individuals with a multitude of services and resources. Being housed in the same facility as the shelter, the counseling aspect of rehabilitation and recovery is easily accessible, therefore more effective. Along with private and group counseling rooms, there are designated art therapy and play therapy rooms. A resource room, with a full-time staff member, is
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: 24-hour Emergency Shelter Essential Funding Sources: • New Markets Tax Credit: $10.25M • Sq. Footage: 36,000 • District: MI-14 AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
available for assistance with job searches, affordable housing options, transportation services, and legal support. On the other side of the door a mother paces the room, with her two young children following closely behind. As she speaks quietly into her phone, her eyes do not leave the floor. Nor do the children’s. They stare down at their untied shoes, not knowing what tomorrow will hold for them. They do, however, know they are safe. Safe in this moment. Abuse knows no boundaries. It knows no age, race, religion, gender, economic or social status. This mother and her children are victims. Victims of a life that no human being should have to endure. Thankfully, rehabilitation facilities, programs, services, and others are joining forces to save those individuals that have been forced to live a life of fear. Sally,* a domestic violence victim, came to HAVEN as a counseling client. She struggled not only to find the support she needed to leave her abuser, but also feared for her safety when she did attempt to leave. During her counseling sessions, she found healing through the use of psychoeducation by her therapist. Through this type of therapy, she was able to create a safe and supportive plan to leave her abusive relationship permanently. Sally also had to overcome literacy and financial hurdles. HAVEN was able to connect her with a community partner, Oakland Literacy Council, to improve her reading and writing skills. She was also referred to HAVEN’s Community Resource Manager, who assisted her with securing employment and finding affordable housing. She is now living independently in an affordable housing facility and has a part-time job.
Tina* had to make the call that no wife or mother ever dreams of having to make. After being physically assaulted by her husband, she made the brave decision to call the 24-Hour HAVEN Crisis and Support Line to seek safety and shelter for herself and her children. Upon arrival, Tina was covered in bruises and visibly anxious. She was concerned about how her children would adjust. Fortunately, HAVEN had the resources to help her and her children make a smooth transition into their new, temporary home. A Youth Specialist gave the children a tour of the youth and teen rooms and the playground. Once Tina was settled at the shelter, she began utilizing the meditation garden and Wi-Fi accessibility to work remotely. She was also able to work directly with her Case Manager to locate and secure safe, permanent housing. After living at HAVEN’s Emergency Shelter for a month, with the assistance of HAVEN’s services, the family was able to build a plan that would allow them to continue to heal and move forward with their lives. This state-of-the-art facility was built on the foundation to “live without fear”. With their new facility, HAVEN is able to bring more visibility and awareness to the often overlooked issue of domestic violence and sexual assault. Clients are given the support and tools to go back into the world and live without fear. Instead of being hushed, a woman can use her voice to speak strength and healing. Instead of children’s eyes fixed on the floor, they can hold their heads up, with eyes focused on a safe and healthy future.
Deborah Strong Housing • YPSILANTI, MI A seed being planted provides the foundation for it to grow, a home provides a person with shelter, comfort, and a foundation to build upon. In order for a person to grow and flourish, in addition to housing, they need further support. The Strong Families Fund (SFF), an initiative launched by the Kresge and Robert Wood Foundations, and the Family Empowerment Program (FEP) at Eastern Michigan University, recognize this need. In partnership with Cinnaire, Chesapeake Community Advisors, Inc., and Ypsilanti Housing Commission, SFF and FEP are providing unprecedented opportunities for residents of the Deborah Strong Housing (DSH) development in Ypsilanti, Michigan. SFF is an innovative pilot pay-forperformance effort to finance social service coordination and affordable housing. Deborah Strong Housing, developed by the Ypsilanti Housing Commission and Chesapeake Community Advisors consists of the rehabilitation of 112 units of existing family public housing through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program. The homes are located on 12 scattered sites. Prior to the rehabilitation of these developments, residents were living in substandard conditions. Insect-infestation, leaking roofs, security concerns, and lack of services and amenities plagued the lives of many residents. Thankfully, a multilayered effort to transform the community and better the lives of those residing in Ypsilanti has been put into action.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Family Housing Developments Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $14.7M • Homes: 112 • District: MI-12 22
Fathiya and Ahmed Originally from Somalia, Fathiya moved to Michigan in 2005 with her brother, who at the time was only seven years old. From the time her brother was born, Fathiya was responsible for raising him. By re-locating from Somalia to Michigan, she had hopes for a better life for herself and brother. In 2006, they moved into what was then known as Ypsilanti Housing, a public housing development. While it wasn’t the safest or well-maintained place to live, it provided them with what they needed – a shelter, comfort, and a foundation to build upon. Fathiya began taking ESL classes, so she could learn English, with the intention of eventually getting a job. After living in Ypsilanti for a year, Fathiya got pregnant, and had a son, Ahmed. Unfortunately, the apartment that Fathiya, her brother, and Ahmed called home continued to deteriorate and became infested with bugs. Everything they owned – clothes, furniture, toys, food – had bugs living in it. Fathiya’s brother didn’t want to come home anymore, and Ahmed often thought “I want to move so badly.” When the Deborah Strong Housing initiative was put into action, Ahmed’s wish came true. Today, Fathiya, her brother, and Ahmed live in a brand new, 3-bedroom apartment, complete with a basement, central air, washer and dryer, and dishwasher. Since they were unable to bring most of their belongings with them, due to the bug infestation, their new apartment was furnished through a generous donation from the Family Empowerment Program. “I am so happy for it! I have my own bedroom now. I haven’t decorated it yet, but I am figuring out what I want it to look like.” – Ahmed
Their new apartment is located in close proximity to the grocery store, library, school, and bus stop. The Deborah Strong Housing sites are all located within four square miles of each other, and are close to schools, commercial, recreational, and healthcare services. The close proximity to Eastern Michigan University allows for the successful integration of the Family Empowerment Program. Residents have access to on-site social workers, who not only assist with resources for employment, transportation, education, and medical needs, but are also considered family by many who live in in the communities. Additionally, Ahmed is able to take advantage of the tutoring program, run by the Family Empowerment Fund, twice a week. Tutoring sessions are held at the Community Centers at two of the Deborah Strong Housing properties. After school, students are often seen lining up at the door of the Community Centers for their tutoring sessions. Due to the overwhelming success of the tutoring program, there is a desire by parents and students to have access to tutoring every day during the school week. The Family Empowerment Program is currently in the process of making this desire become a reality for students. To further support education within the community, the project development partnership provides various programming to families. Monthly reading nights, STEMfocused science nights, and reading and writing labs are offered to Deborah Strong Housing residents. Jessica “Decky” Alexander, a Family Empowerment Program Board Member, explains that “Programming empowers pathways. Instead of doing out-reach, we are doing in-reach. We are meeting people where they, are instead of where we want them to be or think they should be. ” Through Deborah Strong Housing, Strong Families Fund, and the Family Empowerment Program, they all now have a strong foundation to grow from.
Hayden Family (Hollow Creek) The Hayden Family is a family of grace, love, and hope. Mr. and Mrs. Hayden, along with their four adopted children, have strong roots. They have grown together, as a blossoming family, through the ups and downs of life. Prior to meeting and marrying Mrs. Hayden, Mr. Hayden was living in a onebedroom, public housing apartment in Ypsilanti. It was infested with roaches. Drug dealers and addicts had staked their claim of the community. Trash was strewn about the property grounds. At the same time, Mrs. Hayden was living in a modest home, a few towns over from Ypsilanti. She lived with her sons, whom she adopted, to keep three brothers from getting displaced from one another. They got married, and decided to start their new life together in Ypsilanti. The only problem was that Mr. Hayden’s apartment was no place to raise children. As they were determining where they would live, Mr. Hayden became aware that his great-niece was in desperate need of a stable and loving home. Without hesitation, they opened their arms and hearts to this little girl. They found themselves with four children, a small income, and an apartment that was unsuitable for their growing family. Luckily, renovations were underway at one of the Deborah Strong Housing properties, and there was a threebedroom unit available for the Hayden family. Mr. Hayden had never lived in a new apartment or home, so, “having a newly renovated place, for my new family to live, feels real good.” The renovations far exceeded the family’s expectations. Amenities, such as a dishwasher, garbage disposal, central air, and a washer and dryer, are often taken for granted by many people. But, the Hayden family recognizes and appreciates what they have been given through the revitalization of this community. “We are so grateful to have a home for our family.” The two largest Deborah Strong Housing sites, Hollow Creek and Sauk Trail Pointe, offer residents the opportunity to grow, learn, and become part of an inclusive community. Children have access to beautiful, state-of-the-art playgrounds right outside their front doors, where they can safely play and enjoy the outdoors.
AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
The Community Centers have computer labs, full kitchens, and large gathering spaces for use by all DSH residents. A community garden is currently being planted at Hollow Creek. Through this initiative, a “healthy food” educational component will be available to all DSH residents. The Deborah Strong Housing development partners are committed to creating new life and opportunity within these once dilapidated communities.
Mr. Love “It was like living in army barracks. It was looking crazy around here.” Today, sunshine is streaming into Mr. Love’s apartment, and fresh air is flowing through his open front door. Brand new furniture, decorations, and most importantly, laughter, fill his living room. Today, Mr. Love is proud of his home. He feels safe. He feels comfortable inviting his 8 children and 12 grandchildren to visit and stay with him. Prior to the revitalization efforts of his community, this was not the case. “Before, they wouldn’t stay, with all the ‘addicts’ around. It was horrible before. But, now, I just love it. I can actually invite people over. I don’t feel like I am living in ‘low-income housing’. It’s a beautiful atmosphere; it just lifts me up. I wish everyone in Ypsilanti had something this nice to live in.” In addition to the renovated apartments and increased sense of security, Mr. Love applauds the new management and service coordination for advocating for the resident’s best interests. The revitalized communities are now receiving the level of services, and respect, that every community deserves – low-income or not. Ms. Jameson Over twenty years ago, Ms. Jameson moved to Ypsilanti, from Flint, Michigan, to be near her daughter and granddaughter. During her 84 years of life, she has worn many hats. Vista Worker. Conflict Mediator. Cosmetology student. Nursing student. Housing Commission Board Member. Although this is an impressive list of accomplishments, Ms. Jameson’s passion lies in what she can create with her hands. Over the years, she has mastered
the skills of quilting, embroidery, and gardening. She is a true artist; both at the sewing machine and in the garden. Just as her favorite Poppies need the proper environment to live a full and prosperous life, so does she. Unfortunately, the environment, her apartment that she had lived in for so many years, was started to deteriorate. “The roof was terrible. I was laying in my bed and all of a sudden, water just started pouring down onto the foot of my bed. I jumped up and got a bucket, but it was too late. The water had been sitting in the ceiling for so long that it had an odor. I didn’t want to get rid of my mattress; I had just bought it. It ended up taking me a year to get my mattress clean.” Ms. Jameson didn’t want to have to move, but over time, she wondered if she would have to. Her beloved apartment, where she had set her roots, and where so many beautiful memories had bloomed from, was on the verge of being uninhabitable. Thankfully, a plan to renovate and revitalize her community was brought to fruition. Along with the other residents, she had to move out of her apartment temporarily, so the renovations could take place. Each apartment was gutted and rebuilt. New walls, cabinets, flooring, appliances, windows, and doors, paired with access to a wide array of services, allowed for new growth and opportunity for residents. When everyone was able to return to their apartments, they were overjoyed with their homes that had been made new again. “It smelled so clean and new. It was like moving into a brand-new home. The fact that someone invested in my home, to make it better for me to live in, makes me feel so blessed. I think about so many people that are homeless. So many people that don’t have a clean place to live. So, I feel lucky and I feel blessed that I stayed in this apartment and that it finally got fixed. Now I can live here and be happy.” “Once everyone was moved back into the renovated apartments, everyone came outside and started hugging each other, saying we are HOME! WE ARE HOME! Now, I can go out and sit out on the patio. I sit out there and read. I work in the yard. I can watch my flowers grow.”
River Crest Apartments • DETROIT, MI That day finally came. In 2013, River Crest Apartments (formerly Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments), one of the most problematic buildings in Detroit’s history, embarked on a multi-million dollar rehabilitation and restoration process. This historic renovation would not have been possible without essential funding via the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC), which together provided over three-fourths of the capital required to transform this community, Prominently located adjacent to Detroit’s Gold Coast, Indian Village, and East Village historic neighborhoods, River Crest Apartments is a true representation of the revitalization efforts taking place in the city of Detroit.
In September 2010, Sakiena and her children moved into their first home at Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments. She soon realized that her new home was not the best environment for her children, but she felt that she didn’t have anywhere else to go. So, she stuck it out. She’s very thankful that she did. Since the rehabilitation of the building and new management has taken control, Sakiena says, “Everything is better. The apartment, atmosphere, environment, staff...it has been a blessing.” Her children went from crying most days and wanting to move out, to being proud to call River Crest Apartments their home. “We feel safe. We can finally sleep good at night.”
Sakiena, along with her three young children, found themselves without a stable home. Due to financial struggles, Sakiena was forced to move from one house to another. She realized she wanted a better life for herself and her children. She woke up one day and thought, “I have three babies that look up to me. I have to get my establishment together for them.”
Prior to living at Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments, Katherine was living in a homeless shelter. Life had always been a struggle for her. On a daily basis, she worried about how she was going to eat, where she was going to sleep. Katherine had slept in cars, stayed with family, and squatted in houses. Yet, despite, her struggles, she continued to hold onto hope that a better future was on the horizon.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Family Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $14.9M • Federal HTC: $3.6M • Homes: 161 • District: MI-14 • Developer: Building Blocks Nonprofit Housing Corporation (an affiliate of Cinnaire) 24
In 2012, Katherine’s application for an apartment at Colony and Fisher Arms was accepted. Although she finally had a place of her own, she still found herself unsettled. Due to the daily criminal activity that had taken over, Katherine was scared to go outside of her apartment. She didn’t feel safe. Today, since the rehabilitation, Katherine finds herself living in a very different environment at River Crest Apartments. It is safe. It is clean. It is stable. It is home for Katherine. “It’s peaceful. It is something that I can call mine. I appreciate it.”
Now that Katherine’s days of worrying about her safety and well-being are over, she is able to start focusing on her lifelong dream of opening a homeless shelter. She hopes to use her strugglesand experiences in life to help better the lives of others. When Alfonso moved into Colony and Fisher Arms Apartments 20 years ago, water flowed through the intricate fountains in the lobby. Friendly social gatherings took place on the polished marble floors, and in front of the warmly lit fireplaces. It was a haven for Alfonso, who had moved to America, from the Virgin Islands, to see what America had to offer. “When I first moved here, it was nice…It was real nice.” It was in 2010 that Alfonso began to see a negative change within Colony and Fisher Arms and the surrounding area. He attributes poor management and an influx of criminal activity to the initial downward spiral of the apartment complex. “People started getting robbed, killed. Apartments started getting broken into. It was just crazy. The only thing I was thinking about was if I was going to be the next one to get killed around here.” Alfonso began to consider the possibility of moving out of his apartment. He was tired of having to worry about his safety every time he walked into his home. Fortunately for Alfonso, and the other residents, a group of people cared enough to make a change. A change for the better. A change that not only would impact the residents, but also the surrounding community. “Everybody feels safe in here now. They continue to improve the building for us. We gotta be happy to be here. We are blessed. I am telling you, we are blessed. We got a good place to stay.” CINNAIRE
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Type: Permanent Supportive Housing Development Essential Funding Sources: • LIHTC Equity: $11.9M • HOME Funds: $2.8M • Historic Tax Credit: $1.8M • Homes: 55 • District: MI-03
Herkimer • GRAND RAPIDS, MI Dwelling Place, a non-profit, affordable housing developer, had a vision to bring opportunities to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. With support from Cinnaire, through the allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Federal Historic Tax Credits, this vision was realized. In 2013, the former historic Hotel Herkimer opened its doors to provide newly renovated, permanent supportive housing for homeless persons with disabilities. Living in a small, rural community, Tia struggled to find the resources she needed to overcome her substance abuse and mental health issues. She relied on her Mom and “Grammy” to take her to therapy, AA meetings, and support groups. Tia desperately wanted to be able to take the bus or walk to her appointments. She felt that this independence would help her on her road to recovery. “That was my dream. I thought, if I can get to Grand Rapids, then I can do it on my own. I will be able to figure out how to live sober and have a recovery community to live in.” In order to make this dream become a reality, Tia required access to affordable and supportive housing. For many years, she was living at her parent’s house or staying with friends, neither of which provided Tia with the consistent support she needed to stay sober. Two years ago, Tia was able to move into her own apartment at Herkimer Apartments. She now has a stable home and it provides her with the independence she needs. “Living here has really changed my life. It’s so peaceful now. My life was chaos for a long time.” Tia has been sober for 10 months, is newly engaged, and plans to start looking for a job in the near future. Herkimer Apartments has provided Tia with the hope she needs to create the future she always dreamed about. AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
In search of a new life, Milly left Detroit and moved to Grand Rapids 16 years ago. She moved into a house, began a career providing inhome daycare, and found a church family. Today, all she has left of that life is her church family. Despite efforts to create a prosperous life for herself, and after several years of adversity, Milly found herself living in a women’s shelter. Grieving the death of her son, as well as dealing with homelessness, Milly was struggling to make it through each day. She was able to find some respite at the shelter for a short period of time, but still longed for a more positive and supportive living environment. “I was so excited when Herkimer called me. They gave me an apartment of my own, that I could afford.” Beneath the initial excitement, Milly continued to struggle with the devastation of losing her son. During her first few months at Herkimer, Milly would often seclude herself in her apartment. She requested that the staff come check on her, to make sure she was okay. To knock down the door if she didn’t answer. With the support of the staff at Herkimer Apartments, as well as from fellow neighbors, Milly is now seen socializing and enjoying her new life. “Where else could you go for low-income housing like this?! It’s beautiful. You can’t ask for nothing else. You have central air; you can have all the air you want. You can keep your lights on as much as you want. I love it here! Not only do I love my apartment, but I love the people that I am around.” Along with socializing with her neighbors, she is also able to enjoy one of her favorite hobbies, BINGO. “BINGO! I LOVE BINGO! I LOVE BINGO!” In addition to ruling the BINGO scene at Herkimer Apartments, Milly has aspirations of traveling to Niagara Falls with her mother, getting married, and continuing to be strong each and every day.
James lived an all-toocommon scenario: a wife and children, a modest home, a stable job. Then one day, he finds himself with nothing. Divorced. Foreclosed home. Laid-off. The distress that James felt led him into a deep depression, which ultimately led to a severe case of diabetes and the loss of one of his legs. At the young age of 50, James is now confined to a wheelchair. Although some would perceive this as another set-back in life, James has fully embraced his new way of maneuvering through the world. He is continuously seen with a smile on his face, with positive words to share, and emits an infectious joy for life. At Herkimer Apartments, James is able to live a fully independent life. One that he didn’t think was possible after losing his leg. “This is for ME?! I didn’t even know it was going to be handicap accessible! Herkimer gave me more than just a place to lay my head. It gave me courage. It gave me my independence. I can cook on my own. I can wash my own clothes. I can be like I was before, even without a leg.” James has embraced all that Herkimer Apartments has to offer. He frequents the Community Garden and the community events, such as ice cream socials. He has also had the opportunity to take part in board meetings regarding community engagement initiatives. With help from the staff at Herkimer, he is able to fill out paperwork that, due to the numbness in his hands from diabetes, he wasn’t able to do before. Prior to living at Herkimer, James explains that “behind my smile, was a bitter man.” Now, after being given the opportunity to live in an affordable, supportive, and safe environment, James would gladly shout from the rooftops of Grand Rapids “I LIVE A JOYOUS LIFE!” 25
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Develop Michigan News
DMI Funds the Rehab of Detroit’s Historic Element Metropolitan Hotel
DMI is a strategic partnership between Cinnaire Corporation, MI Strategic Fund, the Development Finance Group and its private partners.
DMI is a key financing partner for commercial real estate developers committed to fostering economic development and driving economic progress in Michigan.
Develop Michigan (DMI) funded a $5.6 million second mortgage for the rehab of the Element Metropolitan Detroit Hotel. The Element has been vacant for 40 years — the longest vacancy of any building in the area — and the rehab is a key element in the revitalization of the Detroit Central Business District. The funds will support the rehab of the 110-room extended stay hotel and first floor retail operations. The property is located in the Detroit Central Business District. The project will also incorporate New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), Federal Historic Tax Credits and a Community Revitalization Program (CRP) Loan. Since 2015 DMI has closed more than $21 million in commercial real estate loans in developments to revitalize the City of Detroit. DMI has capital sources to invest in a range of real estate property types in Michigan: • • • • •
Mixed-Use Commercial and Residential Single and Multi-tenant Office Buildings Light Industrial Facilities and Warehouses Not for Profit Community Facilities Retail
In the past three years, DMI has provided financing of more than $40 million to fund 14 developments. To learn more, visit us at developmichigan.org.
DMI seeks out projects that have significant impact on low-or moderate- income communities, either through the jobs that are created, workforce housing, or elements of the project that support community revitalization or economic activity.
| CULTURE MEET UP AND EAT UP SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM BY SARA HARMON, MPH, RDN MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as Meet Up and Eat Up in Michigan, is federally-funded by the USDA and administered by the Michigan Department of Education. The SFSP reimburses sponsors who serve free healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session. The SFSP fills the summer hunger gap for hundreds of thousands of children with the help of community members, sponsors to run the program, and sites to serve meals. In 2016, on average, only about 17% of low-income children received free meals or snacks at Meet Up and Eat Up sites in their communities. It is estimated that families receiving food assistance spend an additional three hundred dollars a month on groceries during the summer, causing increased financial burden and struggle. Communities offering SFSP sites can help relieve this burden for families as well as provide a safe place for residents and their children. Sponsors operate the Meet Up and Eat Up SFSP at the local level. Sponsors must be a public or private non-profit school food authority; a public or private non-profit college or university; a public or private nonprofit residential camp; a unit of local, county, municipal, state or federal government; or any other type of
private non-profit organization. All sponsors must be tax exempt and provide a year-round service to the community. Sponsors must have the ability to manage food service operations and are financially and administratively responsible for the day to day operations of a site. A Meet Up and Eat Up site is the physical location or address where children are served meals. A site is eligible if 50% or more of the children in the area receive free or reducedprice meals at the nearest school or is eligible using census data (maps). Sites can be a community room, a playground area within the housing community, or anywhere there is space for children to sit and eat a healthy meal. A site counts each child as they receive a meal and ensures the child eats the meal onsite. The SFSP is flexible to fit your needs. You can run the program as little or as much as you like, i.e. one day a week or seven days a week. You can serve one meal or two meals in any combination other than serving lunch and supper on the same day at the same site. You can operate the entire summer or for a short period of time. Typically, sites feed children 4-5 days a week and serve breakfast and lunch or lunch and snack. Your next thought might be where do I get the food to serve? You can prepare your own meals to meet the meal pattern requirements or you can partner with a local school district that is established at preparing and
serving meals to children. If there are no schools available in your area you can work with a local food vendor or caterer to provide meals. If possible, it is a best practice to include programming and/or activities at your site. Collaborating with community partners may help with programming and funds. Partners may include local business owners, community centers, health departments, recreation departments, YMCA, MSU extension, etc. Activities can be as simple as coloring books, bubbles, jump ropes, footballs, Frisbees, games, arts and crafts, and reading day. If you have the space, community gardens are a great way to include residents with upkeep and taking ownership of the area. If you need volunteers, residents can often help or utilize your local honors society or high school students to help with activities or serving meals. The USDA Team Nutrition has resources, activities, and flyers available for free at http://www.fns. usda.gov/tn/summer-food-summermoves. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE SFSP, WATCH THE SHORT SFSP PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIDEO (HTTPS:// WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=AZANLGDIKOC&LIST=PLV5MGY6SEJRRJPKTAEQ5QGRA9BZCZLRO4). ADDITIONAL SFSP TRAINING VIDEOS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S SFSP WEBSITE, WWW.MICHIGAN.GOV/ SFSP, UNDER SPONSOR TRAINING. IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO BEGIN PLANNING FOR SUMMER. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MEET UP AND EAT UP SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM CALL, 517-373-0107 OR EMAIL MDE-SFSP@MICHIGAN.GOV.
PROSPERING NEIGHBORHOODS BY GINAI LEWIS-MANNING KING PARK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Since I’ve stepped into the role of the Director of Real Estate Services at King Park Development Corporation, we have sold 17 homes to families that qualify at the 80% AMI or 120% AMI, including myself, in a neighborhood that has been predominately low-income and African American. We have provided these families with an average of $13,000 in direct buyer subsidy while putting an average of $28,000 of equity into our buyers’ pockets. Roughly 64% of our households are headed by women of various ethnic backgrounds.
8609 3115 990 BASIS HAP LIHTC HUD 2/15 We speak your language.
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We take the old, vacant, and dilapidated houses and make them new again. The work we have done here has turned an eyesore into a vibrant, prosperous, and safe neighborhood. I am thankful to work for an organization that sees the benefit in providing opportunities to those that may not traditionally have it. The tide is changing and the area is quickly becoming unaffordable to many low to moderate income families. As an organization, it is our goal to provide opportunities to those families or individuals by ensuring that they have the same opportunities as market rate development in the neighborhood. GINAI LEWIS-MANNING IS THE DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE SERVICES FOR KING PARK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.
AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
| CULTURE BUILDING BLOCKS: CINNAIRE’S CATALYTIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP Building Blocks is the development division of Cinnaire that supports communities by merging the capacity, expertise and resources of Cinnaire with the vision and goals of our local partners. Building Blocks president Chris Laurent shares his perspective and thoughts on the future and goals of Cinnaire’s growing real estate development affiliate. Laurent, who has been with Cinnaire since 2015, is also Senior Vice President of Business Development, managing the areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota. In May 2017, he was named President of Building Blocks, replacing Cinnaire Senior Vice President Dennis Quinn, who is taking a leading role in Cinnaire’s CDFI efforts in Detroit.
HOW BUILDING BLOCKS CAME TO BE Cinnaire – then Great Lakes Capital Fund – started Building Blocks Non-Profit Housing Corporation about a decade ago. Our CEO, Mark McDaniel, saw a real opportunity for buying and holding properties for its business partners for better positioning in the marketplace – largely to preserve affordability over time. Its early incarnation was really a catch-all – an entity to better stabilize underperforming properties with a bit more TLC. Over time leadership saw an opportunity to expand its efforts to more bona fide development work – being careful to not step on the toes of its valued clients and partners
A NON-COMPETITIVE APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT A very important distinction about Building Blocks is that we are intentionally careful not to compete on our own in the competitive nine percent LIHTC space. We will partner with emerging, inexperienced, or undercapitalized partners, however, with an express purpose of helping them build capacity. We also see ourselves as helping to champion tough developments that wouldn’t otherwise get done. We’re looking carefully at crafting new ways to help pioneer development with other tools – working closely with cities and philanthropic groups to do the heavy lifting.
Karl L. Gotting Kenneth W. Beall Michael G. Oliva Michael H. Rhodes Jeffrey L . Green Kevin J. Roragen Richard W. Pennings Ted S. Rozeboom Tracey L . Lackman Michael G. Stefanko
OVER 45 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING Representing developers and syndicators before the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and numerous other state financing agencies, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USDA Rural Housing and municipalities,
124 W. Allegan, Suite 700 Lansing, Michigan 48933 Phone 517.482.2400 www.loomislaw.com
and with private lenders, including projects receiving LIHTC, historic and new markets tax credits.
BUILDING BLOCKS IMPACT AT RIVER CREST River Crest was previously called Colony and Fisher Arms and located in Detroit, just east of downtown near the river. Just as we were digging into development the news stations were reporting one of the largest police raids since Prohibition on the property. It was drug and crime ridden – and blocks from Mayor Duggan’s house. Building Blocks worked closely with the City and police department to help transform the property in the right way. Most of the folks living there wanted what we all want, a decent and safe place to live in peace. By working in collaboration with officials, we were able to remove the bad actors and rehabilitate the property – an historic, project-based Section 8 development. It’s powerful stuff to be able to affect such quick and notable change. IN THE PIPELINE We recently started work on Norman Towers in Monroe, Michigan. We’re partnering with Baltimore-based Chesapeake Community Advisors on both River Crest and Norman Towers. We were hit with bad timing with the market post-election – as well as some challenging construction numbers – but pushed through on both issues and are on track with budget and timing for a 2018 delivery. The property was a former Catholic Boys School that was converted to senior housing. The building fell into disrepair over the years and we’ve got a great team to help bring it back to the vibrancy it deserves. We’ve also got a robust pipeline of developments throughout Cinnaire’s footprint in the Upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Our business strategy is a bit different from that of many development shops. Our DNA is really to be a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) first. We AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
don’t have a specific type of deal that we pitch. Rather, we put people on the ground who really understand our communities. Our best skills involve listening, not talking. Once
we understand the problems our communities face we can help facilitate meaningful solutions. At the core of what we do is the belief that creativity and collaboration are
We Do More Than Just Answer Your Questions... WE CREATE THE SOLUTIONS! “My properties have shown incredible improvement since you started working with them. I can’t believe how much better the sites are doing today. I don’t know what took me so long to get you involved!” Lora D. Gilbert, Vice President of Asset Management, Larc Properties, Inc.
Operations • Marketing • Leasing Training Specialists • Compliance Call today to reduce expenses and increase your occupancy. 800.865.0948 | WWW.OCCUPANCYSOLUTIONS.COM
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the key to success. Because of this approach, we’re not just looking at residential projects, but integration of supportive services, single family homeownership, mixed-use, commercial, and institutional uses. THE BUILDING BLOCKS/CINNAIRE DIFFERENCE – A CDFI & A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT TEAM Unlike many of our peers in the
syndication world, we’re working deliberately to diversify our income stream. Less than half of our revenue comes from syndication fees. Our professionals leading our CDFI efforts consistently report that our ability to work both as a CDFI and a real estate developer makes us unique – we don’t just talk or support – we can do and deliver. Toward that end we’ve designated three cities – Detroit, Michigan; Wilmington, Delaware; and La Crosse, Wisconsin as “Priority Cities.” Though we’re still highly committed to working throughout our footprint, we’ll be focusing extra effort in these communities. I’m so impressed with the breadth of them – and I’m personally looking forward to learning a lot. The one common thread is that there is a clear willingness to make things happen. Leaders in these communities – all challenged in their own ways – have a vision for how things can be – and are willing to invest financial or political capital to make change.
land Liliana Gonzalez. Lily’s an urban designer and architect, with a keen sense of design and great planning skills. Earlier this month James Dow joined us as a Development Specialist in our Chicago office. James had previously worked in our underwriting department as an analyst, and has a Masters’ Degree in urban planning. The cool thing about our team is that we’ve got a broad skill set but are fundamentally committed to each making a personal difference through the work that we do.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS TEAM – COMMITTED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE We’ve got an awesome team at Building Blocks. Ed Potas, development manager, has done a lot of grassroots work in the Midtown Neighborhood of Detroit. We are also participating in a twoyear fellowship program in Detroit through Wayne State University, in which we were lucky enough to
I think we’ve also hit a tipping point where policy decisions are at the breaking point that compromise good, solid real estate fundamentals. Because the Housing Credit is really the only tool that HFAs have to sustain or produce more affordable units, they’re trying to do things far beyond what the program was ever intended to do. We’re bearing that in mind – at the end of the day – more specifically – at the end of at least 15 years – these deals have to work. It’s more important now than ever to make sure we don’t lose sight of that.
CHALLENGES ALONG WITH WAY Like many developers we’ve faced some challenges in our growth including escalating costs beyond which our typical capital sources can easily cover. We are feeling the labor shortage, with many of our subs telling us they can’t find people because workers have gone to areas of recent disaster seeking higher wages. We’re competing by being very precise and clear in our communications.
A FIVE-PILLARED BUSINESS STRATEGY We have a five-pillared business strategy – people, place, partnerships, pioneering, and prosperity. The fourth of these, pioneering, really tries to get at the idea of our team working where others won’t. We want CINNAIRE
to do development work that other groups don’t have the resources or capacity to tackle. As such, I don’t think you’ll see us doing many vanilla nine-percent Housing Credit developments, unless we’re working with an undercapitalized non-profit or emerging developers. Toward that end we’re constantly refining our skill set to truly align with good groups doing work on the ground in our communities. Of personal interest to me is helping build capacity among Milwaukee’s development community for persons of color. I’ve been involved in a Marquette University/LISC-Milwaukee program called “Associates in Commercial Real Estate” – ACRE – since its inception in 2005. In 2016/17 I was the program’s lead instructor. I honestly believe that there are so many reasons to have people shape their neighborhoods who come from them and look like their neighbors. Their perspectives are tighter, they can often better negotiate through the political entitlement processes, and their involvement helps these individuals build true personal wealth. It’s just smart. I’ve continued my role as a mentor for several students, and we’re looking to either fund or joint venture with ACRE grads on several 2018 developments. THE FUTURE FOR BUILDING BLOCKS At the end of the day I couldn’t have greater confidence in our team. We’re smart, creative, passionate, and truly have fun solving problems together. I want to be considered a leader in the communities with whom we work in the Upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic – the trusted, no-sense go-to group to work on tough problems. I worked with a young colleague years ago who said, “the impossible just takes a little longer” – sort of like the A-Team for affordable housing development. AVENUES TO AFFORDABILITY
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Derrick K. Collins Chicago State University Christine R. Hobbs Retired, Freddie Mac Multifamily Brett Macleod JP Morgan Chase William C. Perkins Retired, WPHD Carl Riedy State Street Global Advisors Sheldon Schreiberg Pepper Hamilton LLP Donald F. Tucker Don Tucker Consulting
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