The year 1994 saw Americans watching a live feed of OJ Simpson fleeing the LAPD in a white Ford Bronco, while in South Africa, the nation’s first multi-racial election is won by Nelson Mandela. President Bill Clinton becomes mired in the Whitewater investigation.
Children and their parents left the theater humming Hakuna Matata from the movie “Lion King” and other film fans cheered on Keanu Reeves as he rescues Sandra Bullock from certain disaster on a bus barreling down the road in “Speed.” Comic actor Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels act the part in the prescient satire of things to come, “Dumb and Dumber.”
Green Day’s major label debut Dookie becomes a breakout success and popularizes the retro punk movement of the ‘90s, while TLC enjoys even huger success with their second album CrazySexyCool.
At the same time, AND begins work with Hamilton Family Center on a site to create new supportive housing for homeless parents with children. The Center was established in 1985 as the first homeless shelter for families in San Francisco by Hamilton United Methodist Church. Staffed entirely by church volunteers, the program grew as did the desperate need for its services and transitional housing for homeless families in the City.
Located in a dense neighborhood on a through block connecting Hayes and Fell streets, the new facility was designed by AND to meet the needs of homeless parents with children. The site’s unusual configuration allowed AND to create two separate street-facing residential buildings linked by a landscaped, trellised courtyard and children’s play structure. AND works with community input on a design that fits into, and is respectful of the surrounding neighborhood’s character.
The Transitional Housing Program provides families the time and space they need to identify and address the multiple barriers and factors contributing to chronic homelessness, and helps them improve budgeting, parenting and life skills while preparing for stability. Families initially stay in the north residential building in group housing (16 one- and two-bedroom units with private bathrooms and shared living/dining areas and kitchens). As their lives stabilize with onsite counseling, childcare and social programs, families transition to the other building that has 9 separate apartments. Here, each family is able to function independently as they apply for affordable housing in the community.
In 2000, Hamilton Family Center receives a Best Practices Award from the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development. Then in 2007, the Center is honored by the National Alliance to End Homelessness for its achievement in expanding focus and services from sheltering to ending homelessness for families. AND is proud to have been a part of Hamilton Family Center’s success helping these families gain stability through this innovative and transformative project.