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Residents begin moving into new low-income apartments in Citrus Heights

Sunrise Pointe is located at 7424 Sunrise Blvd., in Citrus Heights, near Oak Avenue. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Residents have begun moving in at a new supportive housing complex on Sunrise Boulevard, with several formerly homeless residents telling The Sentinel they are thankful for the opportunity.

More than two years since construction began, Sunrise Pointe is now taking in residents with an approach that combines housing and mental health assistance, along with assistance for residents in job training and household budgeting. The project is with the cooperation of Irvine-based developer Jamboree Housing and Sacramento-based mental health support organization Hope Cooperative, according to the city.

Resident Dominique Jones moved in July 17 and said she was was living at hotels prior to moving in at Sunrise Pointe. Her new unit is the first time she’s lived at a location that has a doorbell, she said.

“It’s been a long journey, it really has,” said Jones, a mother of three. “I wanted to give up plenty of times, but God seen us through. And I kept the faith and now look, we got this three bedroom. Never had a three bedroom in my life, ever. ”

Jones said the day before moving in was very emotional for her.

“I was very emotional yesterday,” she said. “But thankful, not sad, big tears of joy because we’ve reached the end of the rainbow. At the end of the rainbow it’s always a pot of gold. I feel good, I accomplished something.”

Another resident, Keri Engvall, said she had been living on the streets for almost 20 years before coming to Sunrise Pointe. Engvall said she became homeless after a fire destroyed the trailer she shared with her grandmother who died in the blaze. Making only $945 at the time, Engvall said she had nowhere else to go.

“I tear up a lot about it because I was a female out there that struggled every single day,” she said. “I didn’t get comfortable, I was on a bicycle with two trailers with two dogs, and I slept in front of businesses. I got permission, when you get a good deal with the owner of a store, they’ll let you sleep in from the store as long as you get up early and you clean up the area and you leave, then you have a place to stay every night.”

The security of sleeping near a business was valuable for Engvall, who said homeless women are at risk for being sexually assaulted.

Engvall added that it was the kindness of a stranger who helped her find housing at Sunrise Pointe. She said former Homeless Navigator Gabby Yost offered her hotel vouchers until she was able to move in.

“You know, she helped me out a whole lot, and if I ever could ever say thank you or anything, I would,” Engvall said.

City Manager Ash Feeney touted the Sunrise Pointe opening at a July 13 city council meeting saying a grand opening is planned for later in the fall.

The community has 47 total units with 46 of those designated for low income individuals and families. One unit is fair market rent, for the on-site, live-in manager.

Although Sunrise Pointe is classified as “permanent stable housing,” the units are income-qualified — meaning residents must have an income that is 60 percent or less than the average median income, according to the city. Feeney said residents who see their income increase “can move up and out,” freeing up a unit for another tenant. He shared a phone number of (916) 561-0323 for those interested in living at the apartment complex.

Sunrise Pointe features a community room and kitchen, an after school program, outdoor BBQ and picnic areas, and a playground. There is also a laundry facility at the site.

A manager on duty told The Sentinel he was not authorized to speak to the media about details of the project, but said donations of books and board games for the community room are welcomed.

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