Local Officials Celebrate Grand Opening of 80 Affordable Housing Units for Low-Income Families in Long Beach

 ribbon cutting 

County Supervisor Don Knabe cuts a ceremonial ribbon in celebration of the grand opening of Cabrillo Gateway. Federal Judge Harry Pregerson (center) and Long Beach Councilman Roberto Uranga (front, left) pose next to Knabe. Photos by Stephanie Rivera. 

Century Villages at Cabrillo revealed its latest campus development phase during a grand opening Wednesday afternoon as part of continued efforts to house Long Beach’s neediest population in the Westside.

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The Cabrillo Gateway complex features 80 permanent supportive apartment homes for families at risk of homelessness, with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Of those homes, 16 units are set aside for families who qualify under the Mental Health Services Act housing program.

All homes are subsidized through vouchers provided by Long Beach’s Housing Authority.

The complex also offers 20 on-site service providers, including the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and The Children’s Clinic, which operates a federally-qualified health center, according to CVC officials.

“There’s no city, to me, in the nation that has done more on the issue of homelessness and trying to end homelessness and being a partner than the great City of Long Beach,” said County Supervisor Don Knabe at the grand opening. “Wherever I go, whether it's Washington or Sacramento, or wherever I go, I point to the city of Long Beach in their willingness not to bury their head in the sand, but be a partner in the significant issue that has impassed all of us here in Los Angeles County.”

Cabrillo Gateway is the fourth phase in an ongoing development on the 27-acre Villages at Cabrillo campus, which sits on part of what was once a U.S. Navy housing site and is home to more than 1,300 residents, including veterans.

Previous developments on the campus, which began in the late 1990s-early 2000s, include Long Beach Savannah Housing and Cabrillo Plaza, in conjunction with U.S. Vets and Family Commons at Cabrillo, in conjunction with PATH Ventures.

Cabrillo Gateway

Cabrillo Gateway, the latest development on the Villages at Cabrillo campus in Long Beach's Westside. 

In addition, the site also houses various services and facilities, including an emergency shelter, transitional living center, community center, employment training, child care, re-entry programs for military veterans and American Indian Changing Spirits—a substance abuse treatment facility for Native American men.

“I feel so blessed and happy to get a place here,” said AICS alumnus and Cabrillo Gateway resident Brook Wynn to guests. “The community here motivates me to be committed on my recovery and to keep away from temptation.”

Wynn, who comes from an Alaskan tribe, was living in the streets for almost a year before he found American Indian Changing Spirits.

He entered the treatment center in October 2013 after years of alcohol abuse to treat his social anxiety, triggered from being molested by his step-mom.

Now, Wynn plans to create an alumni group for past members of AICS and hopes that by sharing his story he can help others change their lives for the better.

“Giving back to the community is something I look forward to,” Wynn said.

Cabrillo High Marching Band

Cabrillo High School's marching band performs during the grand opening of Cabrillo Gateway in Long Beach. 

Wednesday’s festivities also included the dedication of the Pregerson Tower to federal Judge Harry Pregerson, who presided over a lawsuit and settlement that would allow for the creation of the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway and eventually the Century Villages at Cabrillo as a nonprofit providing property management, real estate development and supportive services.

“I believe that we’re here on this earth to do all we can to help other people, particularly people who are homeless, handicapped, that are struggling to make ends meet in life, who have been pushed aside, discarded,” the 92-year-old judge and WWII veteran told guests. “We need to do all we can to make their lives meaningful and to see that they get an opportunity to be productive citizens for our country.”

CVC’s next development, Anchor Place, is scheduled to break ground next month as an 120-housing complex for families and veterans. Officials also plan to upgrade part of the Savannah Housing development and create a transit stop along River Avenue.

For more information on Century Villages at Cabrillo click here.

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