STOCKTON (CBS13) — In the city of Stockton, on any given night, an estimated 140 veterans are forced to sleep on the streets.
On Thursday, the city celebrated a new housing community dedicated to cutting that number down.READ MORE: Texas School Shooting: What We Know About The Mass Shooting That Left 21 Dead
Liberty Gardens is a 74-unit housing community. From above, the brightly-colored building looks like any other massive apartment complex.
But inside, it’s much more. A man named Willie — and his twins — now call a three-bedroom unit at Liberty Gardens their home.
Willie served two tours in Afghanistan, and 90 days ago, he was sleeping on a friend’s couch. Today, he’s studying to be a nurse.
“It’s really worked out for me,” Willie said. “It works out for everyone.”
Travis Parker, an Air Force veteran, has settled into a one-bedroom unit at Liberty Gardens. He says it saved his life.
“I was on the verge of homelessness,” Parker said.READ MORE: Gun Found In Desk Of Second Grader At South Sacramento School, District Says
Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln turned out for the special ceremony celebrating the end of the second phase of building.
The $27-million project is paid for with city, state and federal grants. It’s a bright spot in a city where crime rates are high and homicides are also ticking up.
“This is exactly the kind of housing we need,” Lincoln said.
As for rent? That sits between $388 to $500 a month. The community has a computer lab, on-site behavioral health service and a preschool facility in place.
The mayor hopes other cities will follow suit.
“I think other cities and counties should take a close look at what we’re doing with housing here in Stockton,” Lincoln said.MORE NEWS: Call Kurtis Investigates Whether You’re Getting What You Paid For At The Pump
Officials at Liberty Gardens say most applicants qualify for either Section 8 housing or veterans housing vouchers.