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Esperanza En Escalante Executive Director Phyllis Russell and Program Services Coordinator Delia Gastelum in front of previously completed housing for homeless veterans. 50 more units are in the works with help from GPAz.

Homeless Veterans will have more options

50,000 veterans are homeless every night, according to Esperanza En Escalante.

The nonprofit is doing something about that by providing transitional and permanent housing for homeless veterans and their families. Esperanza also offers social services that nurture and support the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

A new third loan from Growth Partners Arizona (GPAz) allows Esperanza En Escalante to again partner with Gorman and Company, Inc. and take advantage of a low-income housing tax credit to build 50 new one-to-three-bedroom housing units for veterans with families.

Gorman is a mission-driven for-profit real estate developer with significant interest and experience with low-income housing tax credits and nonprofit partnerships. Construction on the new units begins this year.

Esperanza’s first loan from GPAz (then the Nonprofit Loan Fund) helped with cash flow. The second GPAz loan was a very short-term loan in 2017 that allowed the nonprofit to partner with Gorman and Company, Inc. to add 44 new one-bedroom apartments to the nonprofit’s 19-acre property that already includes transitional housing and support for 75 homeless veterans and family members.

Some of the new homes will be Section 8, which means occupants will pay just a small percentage of any income they receive in rent. They will also enjoy a community center with a social activity room, computer lab, and case management and nursing support. Section 8 is a common term for the Housing Choice Voucher Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered here by the City of Tucson.

Esperanza was founded in 1989 by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106 of Tucson to provide housing, social services, and transportation that help veterans transition into everyday life. The nonprofit works closely with the City of Tucson, the State of Arizona, the Veteran’s Administration and many other institutions and organizations meeting the physical and social needs of our veterans.

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