Mary’s Mercy Center broke ground on Mary’s Village on Wednesday, Jan. 9, the city’s first transitional housing complex to serve homeless men. Leadership from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the City of San Bernardino and 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales were in attendance to celebrate the groundbreaking event.
“Mary’s Village will truly enable us to address the male homeless population,” Supervisor Gonzales said in a recently released video by Mary’s Mercy Center and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “We must be able to provide the wrap around services that bring about long term healing and reduction in the recidivism rate that we experience so many times in our male population.”
During the ceremony, San Manuel Business Committee members presented a $7.3 million check to Mary’s Mercy Center leadership for the construction of Mary’s Village.
“In our early years, the Catholic church helped provide food and basic needs to our Tribe,” said San Manuel Secretary, Ken Ramirez. “It is an honor to continue our longstanding partnership with Mary’s Mercy Center to establish Mary’s Village, which will provide those same basic needs to the homeless male population in San Bernardino.”
With over 32 percent of residents in the City of San Bernardino living below the federal poverty line, this facility will serve approximately 100 homeless men in the central San Bernardino area. The groundbreaking marked the start of Phases I and II of Mary’s Village, which will be located at 256 S. Artesian Avenue in San Bernardino.
“We must act on the issue of homelessness in San Bernardino,” said Assemblymember James Ramos. “I applaud Mary’s Mercy Center for bringing stakeholders together to get this project off the ground. They have a proven track record with their operation of Veronica’s Home of Mercy for women and children experiencing homelessness, and I am excited to see the positive impacts of Mary’s Village when it is completed.”
This four-phase comprehensive program is the first of its kind in the area that will provide short-term transitional housing, vocational education, job training, comprehensive case management and other customized services to change the path of homeless men from homelessness to self-sufficiency. “(Mary’s Village) will provide a safe environment (for clients) to get their GED, skills and a sense of building a community,” said Father Michael Barry in the video. “It takes a city to get the homeless healed and back into society.”