By Anthony Victoria
Time for Change Foundation’s (TFCF) Vanessa Perez described her time as an intern taking photos of a construction site on Victoria and F Streets in San Bernardino. Months later, now acting as the organization’s Civic Engagement Specialist, she opened up the rededication of the Phoenix Square building ceremony on Thursday July 3, by reminding her colleagues and guests alike why TFCF is dedicated to helping women in the community during their time of need.
“I have to say that we definitely turn things into reality,” said Perez. “Dreams of mothers providing a stable home for their children and dreams of a visionary helping that mother make her dreams possible.”
The non-profit organization’s re-dedication highlighted the hard work that TFCF personnel and their supporters have put forward in ensuring their success. More importantly however, it presented and promoted the construction of four additional low-income housing structures.
The “Phoenix Square Master Plan” housing structures will include seven units and have the same design at the Phoenix Square building. First opened in 2012, the building was awarded the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design award by the city of San Bernardino. And whereas other affordable housing is often labeled as burdensome by local residents or as a dirty word, according to Carter, she believes her organizations facility has been beneficial to the community. In fact, according to Carter, the security cameras capture crimes that are being committed in the nearby area. “This hasn’t become a dilapidated, drug-infested haven for crime like some argued initially,” said Carter. “In fact there have been zero calls for service. There have been so many occasions that police has used our surveillance. We help fight crime.”
Carter said that she firmly believes that each person in her organization is a leader and have visions that will transcend the community from dilapidation to accessibility.
“You may ask who is time for change to develop a smart growth program and I say who are we not?” said Carter. “We are not an agency who sits back with our hands out waiting for others to make it happen. We take action.”
Additionally, TFCF plans on utilizing the old GTE building that has been closed for 25 years as a Homeless Access Center. The 60,000 square foot building has the potential to house the reported 2,000 homeless residents who currently have no shelter or access to transitional housing. Carter also explained that any possible remaining space in the building might be offered to other organizations for lease.
“I’m hoping today that I can ask the city to partner with me,” Carter expressed to San Bernardino city officials in attendance. “I want to be a partner in that building. You don’t have to be in that building by yourselves.” Invited dignitaries: San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, San Bernardino City Mayor Pro-Tem Virginia Marquez, San Bernardino City Unified School District board member Margaret Hill, Councilman Benito Barrios and Jim Mulvhill, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, and San Bernardino City attorney Gary Saenz were given gold-plated symbolic keys for their contributions to TFCF’s success. The recipients gave two-minute presentations. Many spoke of the organization’s impact in the community.
“Time For Change is a flagship, a point of reference,” said Gonzales. “It is the alternative to disparity, to the loss of hope, to desperateness, hopelessness and homelessness. It is the answer which by many of us must acclaim a purpose.”
TFCF is having a Fundraiser July 19 from 5-8 pm at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Fifty percent of all proceeds will go towards the organization which provides essential resources, through programs and services, to women and children who desire to change the course of their lives by making the transition from homelessness and recidivism to self-sufficiency.
For more information, contact Nicole Wolfe at (909) 886- 2994.