By Saybin Roberson
EAH Housing and A2Z Enterprise, along with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson broke ground at 7600 Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles on September 4, 2019.
“Today, that’s what this is about, this is about saying to every Angeleno ‘you belong,’” Mayor Garcetti says excitedly about the new community and progress the city has been making to end homelessness.
The Pointe on Vermont, a 50-unit mixed-use affordable housing development with commercial space on the ground floor, also including a recording studio to keep the youth out of the streets. EAH Housing, which is an affordable housing nonprofit has partnered with A2Z Enterprise, a Black and woman-owned real estate development firm to aid in the fight against homelessness creating a space specifically meant for transitioning and displaced residents.
Funding for The Pointe on Vermont will be provided by the city of Los Angeles through Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond allowing construction of 8,000 to 10,000 affordable units for the homeless and at-risk population around Los Angeles County. The measure also provides mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment and other services for residents. The Pointe on Vermont will be no different.
The four-story building, which will be constructed by FSY Architects, will provide housing for individuals 60 percent below the area median income (AMI). In further efforts to keep residents from homelessness, The Pointe on Vermont will also partner with St. Joseph’s Center to provide onsite support and resident services to help maintain health, well-being, and self-sufficiency.
“We know what secure affordable housing does. It allows people to get that good job, to fall in love, to be able to pursue their passions in life, it allows them to stabilize their lives,” Mayor Garcetti says, adding, “we know the solution to homelessness is housing.”
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson also shared a moment of gratitude with and how he also became acquainted with EAH Housing. He, along with the team at A2Z and EAH visited multiple neighborhood councils, local churches, and the community to work within to build a space everyone wanted.
“Today, I’m proud to say we got there, with the community; we got there with the city, and we got there with the county of Los Angeles,” Councilmember Harris-Dawson stated.
“That’s how we’ll solve homelessness in the city of Los Angeles,” he continues. “EAH and the Vermont community is putting a big downpayment on that today and we thank you for it.”
Antonia Feemster, owner of A2Z Enterprises also shared her remarks as her father bought the land years ago, she now will carry his legacy and dedication to the community to give back on her end.
She shared her excitement regarding the ground floor which will house retail spaces and the recording studio created to help youth find healthy ways to express themselves through music.
“Music therapy is an amazing gift that’s been given to us by God, and to be able to have music be a great starting point in people’s lives and to be able to change people’s lives, we are really excited about that.”
“I remember coming here as a kid and my dad always talked about his vision was to revitalize Vermont,” Feemster stated, she was also joined by her brother Garry Zeigler. “This is something our parents and I always dreamed of.”
The Pointe on Vermont is expected to finish the construction Winter of 2020. For more information visit https://www.pointeonvermont.com/.
This article originally appeared in The Los Angeles Sentinel.