San Clemente, Calif- Kyril Bojckov doesn’t want a handout. At 27 with three jobs and monthly income of less than $3,000, he pays his bills on time and looks forward to moving up in the world. For now, however, he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to live in high-quality housing for a price he can afford.
“People don’t realize it, but a place like this gives young people a chance to do something with their lives,” said Bojckov, an early resident of the Las Palmas Village Apartments, a National Community Renaissance (National CORE) workforce housing community in one of the most expensive counties in the United States. “I’m a driven person, and it is a rewarding feeling to know that there is help out there.”
At Las Palmas, a stylish community located near San Clemente’s historic downtown, Bojckov pays $822 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. Before moving in last November, he lived in a ramshackle motel/studio apartment that cost him $850 a month.
“It was a 1970 Robert De Niro ‘Taxi Driver’ type place,” he said. “I’m grateful beyond words for what I’ve got now. I don’t have to worry about where I’m living, and can focus on my school and career. I want to make more money. I want to live in Orange County. This is ideal.”
Bojckov works at a local restaurant, a yoga spa and does free-lance marketing work on the side, all while taking college classes. Even so, his housing situation made him feel as if he was drifting.
“I’m not ashamed to ask for help, but I’m accountable for myself,” he said.
Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation, which supports economic mobility training at National CORE communities such as Las Palmas, said Bojckov personifies the struggles of countless hard-working individuals who desperately seek a life of self-sufficiency.
“Kyril describes it so well – how the stress of living in substandard housing give him that much more to worry about, and that much less time and energy to work on his future,” Pinedo said. “We’re driving away too many hard workers because they can’t afford to live here and there aren’t the resources to help them move to the next level. At National CORE and Hope through Housing, this is what we mean by transforming lives and communities.”
About National CORE, Hope through Housing Foundation
National Community Renaissance, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. Over the past two decades, its Hope through Housing subsidiary has provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life, including preschool, afterschool, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.