Rebuilding a Home for those Who Need it Most
In our constant efforts to improve the lives of our community, we unveiled the new & improved Residencia Betances with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the property last Wednesday. The ceremony marked more than just the completion of renovations to the building, it celebrated the improvements that will help us provide even better care to our 11 residents, who were previously homeless and suffer from mental disabilities. Many community members attended the ribbon cutting and had nothing but praise for all those involved in making this project possible – a project that gives not just a house, but a home to these previously displaced individuals.
We are so grateful to all of our partners who made this possible – especially to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) for providing us with the funding to perform project renovations to both the interior and exterior of the property.
“Residencia Betances is such a meaningful part of Boston’s South End, and we are proud to have completed renovations that will enhance the lives of our residents,” said our CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado. She also remarked the impressive completion of the project “on time and within budget with our residents in place the entire time.”
Started in 1993, Residencia Betances is an 11 room, single-occupancy development located on Shawmut Ave in the South End, serving Spanish-speaking residents who are formerly homeless clients of the Department of Mental Health. Our bilingual and bicultural staff works around the clock with the residents to ensure they have access to a range of supportive services that enable them to live successfully and optimize their overall health. These services include symptom management, community skill development, support with medication administration, healthcare appointments, and meal preparation; as well as encourage all residents to partake in social, employment and wellness activities.
The ceremony was led by our CEO Vanessa, and brought together city and state officials including State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay, Advisor to the Mayor for the Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness Laila Bernstein, and CEDAC Director of Housing Development Sara Barcan. There were also IBA supporters and community members in attendance, including the residents of the building who were excited to cut the ribbon marking the official completion of renovations to their home.
“We gladly celebrate the completion of such an important property in the South End, carried out by an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of others” said Undersecretary Kornegay. “Our involvement with IBA on this project dates back nearly 20 years, and we are thrilled that we were able to reinvest in housing unlike any other in the area.”
Improvements were made to the residents individual units as well as to the common areas to create a more open and welcoming floor plan for the residents to interact. There were also exterior enhancements made to the historical brownstone so many in attendance not only applauded this major milestone, but joked, “It looks like the rest of the South End!”
Barcan praised the project, “Our hats are off to IBA for having nourished and sustained this project for almost a quarter of a century – it’s really very impressive.” She continued, “it didn’t take anything away from the stability of the housing and the quality of services being provided [to the residents]. So, we really congratulate them on making this building a national example of what you can do with permanent supportive housing.”
Bernstein spoke on behalf of Mayor Marty Walsh, saying, “The way to end chronic homelessness – long term homelessness – for people with disabilities is through projects like this one…We’re very grateful for IBA’s leadership in developing this project and many others that are part of the solution to stabilize housing for people who are housing insecure and also ending homelessness.”
Vanessa closed the ceremony saying, “We are grateful to those that have helped make this project happen, and look forward to continuing with more work aimed at providing affordable housing for those in need.”
This property offers affordable housing to those that need it most, and provides unparalleled services to enhance the quality of life for our residents and we could not be more ecstatic about it’s completion. To ensure that we can continue projects like this one, please donate here. Remember, any amount helps to make a difference.