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Home / Impact / Housing for formerly homeless Corona residents officially opens

Housing for formerly homeless Corona residents officially opens

by Staff
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A housing complex for people experiencing homelessness has officially opened in Corona, officials announced last week.

Vista Dorada features 53 homes at the site of what was formerly the Ayers Hotel, 1900 Frontage Road.

Vista Dorada reached 100% occupancy in June, “providing critical housing and supportive services to people previously experiencing chronic homelessness in the City of Corona,” officials said. “Through compassionate outreach and engagement provided by the Corona Police Department Homeless Outreach & Psychological Evaluation (HOPE) Team in collaboration with City Net, a nonprofit funded by the City of Corona, people who had lived on the streets of Corona for many years now call Vista Dorada their home!”

The city partnered with Riverside County and nonprofit owner/operator Abode Communities, to transform the hotel into a permanent supportive housing facility as part of efforts to develop a comprehensive system of services to address homelessness in Corona, according to the city’s announcement.

The Vista Dorada project aligns with the county’s Homeless Action Plan, “which takes a regional approach to addressing homelessness by working with cities to expand capacity and increase housing and services to better support residents in each region,” officials said.

Vista Dorada provides a range of services that help residents maintain stable lifestyles and stay housed, including mental health and substance use services, connections to medical care, education, workforce development, ongoing case management and other forms of assistance. The services are provided by the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health Department in collaboration with City Net. 

“This project exemplifies the joint vision of the City and the County to end homelessness through public/private partnerships and integration of resources,” officials said. “Public-private partnerships pave the road to transformation.”

In addition to the city of Corona, officials listed the agencies involved in Vista Dorada’s operation and provision of services: Abode Communities, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health Department, Riverside County’s Housing and Workforce Solutions Department, Housing Authority and Continuum of Care and Corona’s two contracted partners, City Net and Mercy House Living Centers.

The Vista Dorada complex. | Photo courtesy of the city of Corona

Nearly $12 million from the state’s Project HomeKey funds Vista Dorada, along with $2.5 million in matching grant funds from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation, according to the city’s announcement. 

“The Housing Authority has allocated 52 Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers to ensure the long-term viability of Vista Dorada,” officials said. “These vouchers will provide rental subsidies for both current and future tenants residing at the property.” 

The vouchers’ combined value totals $16 million over a 20-year period. 

The city of Corona provided $25,000 in home furnishing move-in kits, $10,000 in essential items gift bags, $70,000 in resident security deposits, as well as all services officials described as “outreach/engagement, bridge emergency shelter, and case management services for the residents.” City Net and Mercy House Living Centers, the city’s nonprofit partners, provided the aforementioned services and support.

“This initiative serves as a pivotal component in the ongoing endeavors of the County and City teams to create opportunities to move individuals from street living to permanent housing with services,” Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel said in a statement. “Establishing permanent housing constitutes a crucial element in the homeless action plans of both the County and the City of Corona.”

Corona Mayor Tom Richins said, “The City of Corona is grateful to the State and County for supplying the financial resources that transformed this project from an idea to a reality. The Vista Dorada partnership is a game changer for the City and contributed to our dramatic reduction in street homelessness.” 

Nonprofit developer Abode Communities will own and operate Vista Dorada in perpetuity, officials said. 

“We know the greatest single way to reduce homelessness is to create more housing,” Adobe Communities President and CEO Holly Benson said in a statement. “We’re excited to become a permanent member of the Corona community, and continue our mission to address the critical and immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness in the County of Riverside.”

Prior to the implementation of Corona’s Homeless Strategic Plan, the city had 164 residents experiencing homelessness, officials said. The county’s 2023 census of the homeless population confirmed that number is now 65, a 60% reduction in unsheltered homelessness. 

“The formula for success is Corona’s system’s-oriented approach,” officials said. “The City of Corona developed a transformational system of services, including homeless prevention, outreach and engagement, emergency shelter, supportive services, and permanent supportive housing.”

Vista Dorada’s grand opening follows the June 2023 opening of Corona’s Harrison HOPE Center.

The City Council approved $3 million to renovate the center, which Mercy House operates, providing a shelter/navigation center, case management, life skills training, job development, transportation, pet accommodations, meals, housing navigation and permanent housing resources. 

More information on the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness is at www.TheRoadHome.CoronaCA.gov or available via email: HomelessSolutions@CoronaCA.gov. 

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