From the CEO
A Visit to Alta Vista, and an Important Reminder
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
On a recent visit to National CORE’s Alta Vista community in East Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of our residents/business owners who occupy the 11 live-work units on site. Their stories are a wonderful reminder of the working-class spirit that makes this country great. They’re a reminder, too, that the stereotypes about affordable housing (and those who live in affordable housing) are just that – stereotypes based not in reality but misinformation. Below is a glimpse into the life of Karina Orozco – a single mom with four children who simply wants the best for them. We take great pride in sharing her story – and that of so many other hard-working residents determined to build their lives and make sure that their kids have the education they need to prosper in life. We’re proud, too, to be part of that dream though innovative communities and programs such as this. By transforming individual lives, entire communities benefit.
A Life Transformed at Alta Vista: ‘My kids and I have been blessed’
Karina Orozco embodies the spirit of working class Americans determined to provide their kids with opportunities they never had. One of her children is in college. Another attends a Catholic high school – at a cost to Karina of $10,000 per year. Their two younger siblings soon will follow their lead. In order to make ends meet, Karina commutes five mornings a week from her apartment at our Alta Vista community in East Los Angeles to downtown L.A., where she works as a full-time dental assistant, then returns home at night to run a health and exercise studio she owns through Alta Vista’s innovative live-work program. The program, in partnership with the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC), helps small business owners manage family and childcare responsibilities, avoid costly commercial leasing costs and set up flexible business hours. In addition, business development services through ELACC and other project partners help entrepreneurs – many with little or no experience owning a business – navigate the complexities of licensing, insurance and taxes. In Karina’s case, the money she makes from her Better Life Nutritional Center pays for her children’s education. Because of her tight schedule – she gets home from her day job at 7 p.m. and opens her studio at 7:30 – the adjoining living space is more than a convenience. “I couldn’t do this any other way. Living here and working here, it’s very important,” she says. “As a single mom, this is such a blessing.”
A Tribute to Daniel Fauske
We’re very sad to report the passing of one of our beloved Board members, Daniel Fauske. Mr. Fauske had a long and distinguished career – most recently as President of the Alaska Gasoline Development Corp. – and a deep passion for the work of National CORE and the Hope through Housing Foundation. Mr. Fauske also served as the head of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation for 18 years and was instrumental in the development of an asset transfer plan between AHFC and the state that substantially improved the corporation’s credit rating by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s. Mr. Fauske chaired the Alaska Council on Homelessness and served on the Fiscal Policy Council of Alaska, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Impact Advisory Council, and Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. Our prayers go out to his family and friends.
Oakcrest Terrace Receives LEED Gold Certification
Last month, we reported on the grand opening of Oakcrest Terrace, an affordable housing community in Yorba Linda designed to meet the housing needs of the local workforce, seniors, veterans and families. We’re happy to share with you that the highly anticipated apartment community has now achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for energy and environmental efficiency. To achieve LEED Gold certification, buildings must pass a rigorous set of design and construction standards, making them among the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly structures around.
Save the Date
Celebrating 25 Years of Transforming Lives and Communities
National CORE’s 25th Anniversary Gala, in support of the Hope through Housing Foundation, will be held Thursday, November 2, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California. For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ruby Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the event, please contact Christy Schroeder at email@example.com
News & Notes
Around National CORE
At Stone Ridge (Little Rock, Ark.), the Greater Second Baptist Church helped out for a day of fun family activities.
National CORE recently bid farewell to our amazing receptionist and friend, Sylvia Cordova, who is moving on to the next chapter of her life.
Frontier Communities in Rancho Cucamonga, California, recently presented a check for $5,000 to support the Colonies Holiday Miracles and the Hope through Housing Foundation.
National CORE was represented in style at the California Apartment Association’s recent bowling tournament.