The Villages@Cabrillo Housing Experience

We didn’t know before we visited that California Governor Newsom had visited them just last month.  The Villages@Cabrillo, Long Beach are often praised as one of our nation’s successful solutions for homelessness.  I first heard about The Villages last year when I did the research for my Voice of OC Op Ed encouraging the City of Irvine to step up with innovative solutions to help end the OC Homelessness crisis.

This month, Cabrillo was one of the Housing Experiences in our Homelessness Demystified, Buffet of Educational Experiences.  The event drew 20 RSVPs. 15 showed up.  “Jaw-dropping,” “eye-opening” “inspiring” “peaceful” thriving” were terms I heard from some attendees.  I think I can safely say that all who came today were impressed.

Rene Castro, MSW, Director of Community Engagement, CVC took us on the 1.5 hour walking tour and we covered about a mile.  But the whole campus is on 26 acres of former US naval reserve land.  There are 12 onsite partners such as the Catholic Charities, Harbor Interfaith Services, and US Vets who offer a continuum of housing options for veterans, individuals, and families that include emergency shelter (typically 30 days), transitional programming (typically 6 months), as well as permanent housing. Supportive services and programming range from adult enrichment classes, health and wellness programming, community events and youth programming, to comprehensive child development care, and career services for adults with disabilities and vets. There is even an American Indian Changing Spirits Substance abuse treatment program for Native American men besides a number of recovery and treatment programs for the vets and chronically homeless (trimorbidity is the technical term for their suffering).  Over 20 outside community partners such as Cal State Long Beach have strong and regular volunteer program on campus.  The new Anchor Place that opened last fall is LEED Platinum certified with 120 one, two, three bedroom units, which are home to 75 vets, and 45 families. On site services include case management, physical and mental health services, employment services, life skills training and counseling. We saw an Urban Forest and Rene told us that it has over 100 fruit trees. There are five gardens of which we saw one. Lot of open spaces and greenery.  Community was thriving. Yoga, fitness, gardening, walking groups, career counseling for vets. Bikes for mobility. The retention rate is 98%; the gold standard is 85%. The Children’s Clinic is a federally qualified health clinic that serves the over 400 children that live on campus as well as adults. Don’t miss the video and you will learn the important roles that a federal Judge Pregerson and Navy veteran Stephen Peck (yes, he’s the son of Gregory Peck) play in Cabrillo’s origins 20 years ago. To learn more about Irvine for Everyone and attend other Homelessness Demystified, Buffet of Educational Experiences, Feb. 2 – May 4, 2019 events, visit

Century Villages at Cabrillo: 20 Years of Building Community


2018 Social Impact Report:

About Governor Newsom’s Visit:

To donate:

To learn more about Irvine for Everyone and attend other Homelessness Demystified, Buffet of Educational Experiences, Feb. 2 – May 4, 2019 events:

#HomelessnessDemystified #HousingSolutions #IntegratedHousing #Community

Credits: This photo was taken by Diana Law.

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