When Chelsea Investment Corp. opened Independence Point in Lincoln Park just 10 months ago, it was San Diego’s first affordable housing community built with apartments set aside for people with a developmental disability.
Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Agueda Aguirre, a resident at Independence Point who for five years prior to her move was living in a friend’s garage. Agueda, a single mother of four including a five year-old son with Down’s Syndrome, endured unimaginable conditions in order to stay off the street. She described for us the extreme temperatures, rodent and insect problems, and the heartbreak of needing her eldest daughter’s help, knowing she should be in school.
Since moving to Independence Point, her son is thriving, her eldest daughter is back at college studying for her teaching credential and her 18 year-old daughter is attending Grossmont College as a freshman, planning to transfer to UCSD and ultimately become a history teacher.
When a family's basic needs are met, they are free to pursue higher needs such as education and well-being, both physical and mental.
“Imagine for a moment that you’re a parent or a family member of a person with a developmental disability,” said Jim Schmid, president and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp. “Your single biggest fear is, “where will my child, brother or sister live when I’m gone?” Independence Point is a place where individuals can live independently in homes that are designed to meet their unique circumstances.”
Thanks to its funding and development agreements, Independent Point will maintain its affordable designation for 55 years. It is convenient to grocery stores, schools and public transportation and benefits from on- and off-site social services provided by the Southern California Housing Collaborative, through the San Diego Regional Center.