A private redevelopment firm has partnered with a non-profit to provide vital services to help revitalize California neighborhoods

Long-time readers of REVITALIZATION might remember several articles, such as (this one and this one) about Forge Development Partners‘ efforts to revitalize San Francisco‘s Tenderloin District.

Now, Forge is going beyond “merely” repurposing and renewing vacant buildings and sites: they also offering the kinds of services needed by the residents of the neighborhoods Forge is helping to revitalize.

Forge has partnered with Project Access, a provider of vital on-site services. Project Access, which offers health, education, recreation and employment services to low-income families and seniors, will collaborate with Forge to deliver high-quality and tailored programming for the middle-income residents of Forge’s essential workforce housing projects in San Francisco and San Diego.

Our goal at Forge has always been to create more than housing for essential workers – we want to establish spaces that enrich the lives of its residents and build a real sense of community where they live,” stated Forge Founder Richard Hannum. “Our partnership with Project Access is the first step towards creating an innovative platform for delivering wellness, education and professional development services.

As such, Project Access will provide on-site services to the future residents of the Forge project at 601 W. Beech in Little Italy, San Diego as well as Forge projects at 361 Turk, 145 Leavenworth and 450 O’Farrell in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. These services will focus on promoting health and wellness, building community, skill development and engaging proactively with the neighborhoods residents will call home.

The Project Access team will survey residents to determine the greatest opportunity for development and collaborate with local organizations to deliver programming custom-tailored for each community. Potential programs may include cooking and fitness classes, financial management and leadership training, business networking events, social events and volunteer opportunities.

By eliminating the barrier to access and meeting people where they live, Project Access is able to provide the tools needed to help communities become healthier, more educated and financially stable,” said President of Project Access Kristin Byrnes. “We’re excited to help the future residents of these developments to become integral members of their communities.

In addition to providing services through Project Access, Forge’s San Diego and San Francisco development projects will offer modern, technologically forward, and comfortable scaled housing for the “missing middle,” the essential workers who form the backbone of urban areas, such as first responders, teachers, pharmacists, retail and restaurant employees, but who are often priced out of housing in the cities where they need to work.

Forge focuses on providing urban solutions for the nationally underserved area of essential housing. Their holistic approach encompasses building design and construction, the use of technology, and concierge residential management to improve the resident experience and benefit the surrounding community. Through the use of innovative design and construction techniques, Forge says its projects are scalable, sustainable and environmentally beneficial. Instead of relying on government subsidies, the company’s overall approach attracts Impact Investors while providing a rental price point that offers maximum residential value at a reasonable cost.

Since 1999, Project Access, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit headquartered in Orange, California, has been operating Family & Senior Resource Centers onsite in affordable housing communities. At these Centers, we provide access to tools, knowledge, and opportunities that connect communities and empower residents of all ages to pave their own paths to prosperity.

Project Access currently operates 80 Family and Senior Resource Centers in 13 states throughout California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Project Access wraps around the entire household and addresses the inequity of access by providing high-quality programs and services for all ages that focus on Economic Stability, Education, Health & Wellness, and Community Building. We embed ourselves into the very fabric of the community and become a trusted presence within. We then amplify our impact through numerous community partnerships, expanding on our direct services and creating a village of support for each resident to cultivate strong communities, positive changes, and hopeful futures.

This unique model of service delivery allows Project Access to directly impact the lives of hard-to-reach pockets of underserved, impoverished families within in their own backyards. In 2020, Project Access served over 22,000 individuals.

Rendering of Forge’s project at 601 W. Beech in San Diego courtesy of Forge Development Partners.

See Forge website.

See Project Access website.

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