The Silicon Valley Voice

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Low-Income Housing for Most Vulnerable Population Opens in Santa Clara

Abode Housing opened the Kifer Senior Apartments on May 8, providing housing to chronically homeless and low-income seniors.

On May 8, Abode Housing was joined by City of Santa Clara leaders to cut the ribbon on the Kifer Senior Apartments. It’s a 100% affordable housing complex dedicated to housing chronically homeless, low-income and veteran senior households.

While the 80-unit complex at 3333 Kifer Road will only make a small dent in the area’s housing problems, for tenants like Angela, it’s the turning point they need.

“It was really hard,” said Angela, who choked up telling her story of pivotal moments in her life that led to her living on the streets. “You end up living with people you don’t want to be with in somebody’s house. I just needed a way out … I [got] a little bit of money and I bought a shuttle bus and I kind of made it into a little apartment. It was really nice inside.”

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Angela lived in one of Mountain View’s safe parking areas, a place where people living in their vehicles can stay safely. She said without the support of the city, specifically Mountain View Community Outreach Officer McPherson, she wouldn’t know where she’d be.

“I could have never done this without her. She put me in the right direction,” said Angela.

The two have known each other for more than three years and McPherson was integral in Angela’s year long process to secure housing at Kifer.

“I’m so grateful for her. I’m happy that she’s here. My heart is full,” said McPherson, who attended the ribbon cutting with Angela.

McPherson has worked on the Mountain View police force for more than 20 years and took over the Community Outreach Officer position just three years ago. She wishes she could see more successful outcomes like Angela’s.

In her role, McPherson says she has seen people spiral very quickly when they lose their homes.

“Then the depression kicks in and you start drinking drugs, do drugs, can’t find food, lack of sleep. Next thing you know, they’re hearing voices, and now we have mental health issues … substance abuse,” said McPherson. “That’s when we have to have facilities that can focus on getting them the mental health, health, substance abuse [help] … we don’t have enough shelter beds in the county. I have people waiting for a bed since in January.”

She says the support of the City of Mountain View to reach out to the unhoused community is very impactful, but the Bay Area needs more housing options.

“We need more affordable housing, a lot more interim housing, like the tiny homes,” said McPherson. “I see unhoused individuals [that] are put in there, like a week later, I don’t even recognize them sometimes. It’s life-changing.”

Kifer Senior Apartments is the second 100% affordable housing complex to open in the Santa Clara and Sunnyvale area in the past month. On April 23, Meridian opened near Downtown Sunnyvale.

The Kifer Senior Apartments include one- and two-bedroom units, an on-site manager, rooftop terrace, computer room and secure bike and vehicle parking. It’s within walking distance of the Lawrence Caltrain Station.

Abode Housing will also provide on-site services at the low-income housing site such as substance abuse support, health and wellness programs and on-site education and workshops that include financial literacy and self-sufficiency counseling.

The ribbon cutting was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce.

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