An intimate group of tribal citizens and leadership from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, as well as representatives from Mary’s Mercy Center, San Bernardino County, San Bernardino City and Crestwood Communities came together to commemorate the completion of Phase I of Mary’s Village – San Bernardino’s first transitional housing complex for men experiencing homelessness, on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
This four-phase comprehensive project will make a significant impact in the lives of homeless men by not only providing short-term housing, but providing vocational education, job training, comprehensive case management and other customized services to put them on the path to self-sufficiency. This first of its kind project is a collaboration between Mary’s Mercy Center, Crestwood Communities, Southern California Edison and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
The support of Southern California Edison allowed this development to be built zero net energy, which means it is an energy-efficient building that is designed to generate enough solar energy to offset its energy costs over the course of a year.
Mary’s Mercy Center President Father Mike Barry and Vice President Mike Hein opened the celebration with a prayer and by offering a blessing for each of the buildings.
“There is an inspiring quote from the Book of Proverbs which says, ‘My people die for lack of vision.’ This characterizes the origin and development of Mary’s Village. It also characterizes the entire history of San Manuel who have brought a vision to Mary’s Village and developed their vision within the unfolding of a ‘home’ for the poor, the less fortunate and homeless men,” said Father Mike Barry. “Those who knew misfortune and homelessness have risen to help those who need it most. Their suffering and pain has brought blessings. If it is one thing, among many, that characterizes the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, it is hope set in a vision.”
Several other key stakeholders such as, Kitty Garver, CEO of Crestwood Communities, Terry Kent, VP of Operations for Crestwood Communities, Mayor of San Bernardino, John Valdivia, and Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Ken Ramirez spoke about what their contributions will mean to San Bernardino and the hopes that it can be an inspiration to other cities facing issues with homelessness.
“We are proud to collaborate with community groups who are dedicated to their mission, and demonstrate the capacity to deliver effective programs, who strive to give a hand-up,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken Ramirez. “In our early years, the Catholic church helped provide food and basic needs to our Tribe and the decades long partnership with Mary’s Mercy brings that generosity full circle to benefit our entire community.”
The entire celebration and a virtual tour was broadcast via a live stream as in person attendance was limited to allow for social distancing.
Mary’s Village is located at 256 S. Artesian Avenue in San Bernardino.