Serenity Village Apartments
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly are the apartments that are opening up for the homeless?
There is a model of assistance to individuals in need called “housing first”. It is considered the best practice for assisting homeless individuals and has been tested through many cities across the country. The basic premise is that until an individual has stable housing it is very difficult to address other areas of their lives like job skills, mental health, substance abuse, and stable relationships because so much of their energy each day is spent focusing on survival. The Serenity Village apartments opening up in Oakhurst follow this model of “housing first” and is funded under a HUD Grant for “Permanent Supportive Housing.”
Who qualifies for living in the apartments?
There are two criteria for application- chronic homelessness and disabled. The definition of homelessness being used is an individual that has been living in a place not meant for human habitation for at least 12 consecutive months or has had 4 episodes of homelessness in the last 3 years. The definition of disabled being used is a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which is expected to be of long continued and indefinite duration. Veterans that meet this two criteria will be prioritized in the application process.
How many individuals will be housed at Serenity Village?
The apartments that were purchased have 8 units. One of the units will be used as an office space and the other 7 units will be single occupancy.
Who owns Serenity Village?
The apartments were purchased by a private individual and are being leased back to Turning Point of Central California based on the HUD Guidelines.
How is Sierra Vista Church involved?
Turning Point is actively seeking to partner with local churches and organizations to help support the apartment project and make it successful. We have been very involved in screening and taking applications, collecting donated items, and cleaning and organizing the apartments to prepare them for move-in. Long-term there is plenty of opportunity for Sierra Vista to be involved with mentoring, job partnerships, facility maintenance and upkeep, and general support of the individuals accepted.
Who pays for this?
The project is being financed through a HUD grant for Permanent Supportive Housing.
What sort of oversight will there be?
Turning Point is hiring a case manager who will be on site 40 hours a week. The case manager will be responsible for checking in with the 7 clients and working with them to live healthier and more productive lives.
How long can individuals stay in the apartments?
Once accepted, as long as an individual continues to qualify and follow the guidelines, there is no set duration. Generally speaking there will be two types of individuals who will go through the program. The first is individuals who just need a break and, with some support, will be able to work towards finding a job, becoming a healthy member of society, and will eventually be able to transition into more traditional housing. The second type of individual may have a severe enough disability that they may never be able to hold a traditional job or maintain traditional housing. For these individuals, they may remain in the housing for the rest of their lives.
Who can I contact to get involved or to get more information?
You can contact our church office directly or by phone at (559) 683-6742 or visit the Turning Point website for more information about that organization.