VICTORVILLE, Calif. — Today, the City of Victorville celebrated the groundbreaking of its Wellness Center Campus, a key component in the City’s strategy to reduce homelessness in Victorville.
Envisioned 2.5 years ago with the help of its Homelessness Solutions Task Force, Victorville’s Wellness Center will be the first facility of its kind in San Bernardino County to combine a low-barrier emergency shelter, recuperative care facility, medical clinic, interim housing, and wraparound support services.
The Wellness Center is being constructed on 4.5 acres of City-owned land located at 16902 First St.
When complete in December, the center will increase the number of shelter beds in Victorville by 56 percent. Construction is being funded primarily through a $28 million Homekey Grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
“We are proud to be among the cities taking action to address the issue of homelessness head on. By increasing access to shelter, healthcare, and support services, we will reduce homelessness in Victorville; and we will improve the overall quality of life for our community,” said Victorville Mayor, Debra Jones during the groundbreaking that was attended by 120 people including community members, nonprofits and homeless shelter operators, construction contractors, and elected officials and representatives from the State, County and neighboring municipalities.
The Wellness Center Campus has been planned with a housing first approach with low-barrier or minimal requirements for entry. It will offer interim housing and a wide variety of support services such as a medical clinic, recuperative care, substance abuse counseling, job training and placement, public benefits assistance, pet care, and housing navigation to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless stabilize their lives.
The non-congregate design of the modular housing units will offer 110 separate units with a minimum capacity of 170 beds. Additional amenities such as a community garden, recreational areas, dog kennel, and landscaped open space have been incorporated into the design. Altogether, the housing units and support service buildings will comprise 25,920-square-feet of new construction.
“Because there is no one cause of homelessness, we knew we needed to provide a framework of support that provides for the basic human needs of dignity, health, shelter, and opportunity,” said Victorville City Manager, Keith Metzler. “We are excited to break ground on this facility that has the promise to improve lives and reduce homelessness in Victorville, and we are grateful for the tremendous show of support from our task force, elected officials, and broader community.”
In March, the City announced it awarded a contract in the amount of $4.8 million to Angeles Contractor Inc. for phase one of the construction, which includes the earthwork and installation of underground utilities.
The contract for phase two, which includes construction of the modular shelter and bathroom units, was awarded to Connect Homes and Urban Bloc by the City Council on April 5. During phase three, 9,600 square feet of community buildings will be constructed. Installation of the modular units and remaining site work such as pavement and lighting will take place in phase four. Pacifica is providing construction management services and MBPro is assisting with inspections. Barring any delays, construction of Victorville’s Wellness Center Campus will be complete in December.
The City of Victorville was awarded its Homekey Grant in December 2021 making it the first jurisdiction in Southern California to benefit from round two of the state’s grant program, which was created by the Governor and Legislature “to make real progress in addressing homelessness.”
The City of Victorville has the second-highest concentration of homeless persons in San Bernardino County. More information about the City of Victorville’s homelessness solutions strategy is available online at VictorvilleCA.gov/HomelessnessSolutions.
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