April 10, 2012
The Crossings at Fourth and Preston held it's grand opening ceremony Tuesday morning. For many residents getting keys, it's a dream come true.
"This is the first time in my life I've had a place of my own," said an ecstatic David Taylor. "Being homeless, I've slept here and slept there and stayed with different people at different times."
Now Taylor will have his own studio apartment, complete with a twin bed, a dresser, a bathroom and even a small kitchenette. For man residents, it also offers a new beginning.
"I was once an alcoholic and drug addict. I've been clean now for a year. It's something new and I'm actually loving this, I really am," said Earl McCraw.
Organizers with Virginia Supportive Housing say The Crossings is a solution to the lack of affordable housing options in the area.
Nestled on the corner of Fourth Street and Preston Avenue, the building boasts 60 studio apartment units. Half of the units are available to people earning 50 percent of the area's median income, while the other 30 apartments are reserved for people who are homeless.
Every resident must pay rent, which runs between $500 and $600 per month.
Besides offering a permanent address, The Crossings also offers an on-site support staff to help residents apply for jobs and provide mental health and substance abuse services.