AMCAL affordable communities are more than safe and beautiful homes for residents—they offer steppingstones to a better life.
Since 1999, AMCAL has developed more than nearly 70 affordable communities, and began developing affordable apartments in Texas starting in 2012. AMCAL is one of the most prolific builders of affordable communities in California, and takes great pride in giving residents the opportunity to improve their quality of life.
By empowering and educating residents about finance, computers and job and life skills, residents can move up to better jobs and home ownership. The goal is to create a stronger overall community by enriching individual households, which benefits all residents and the cities they call home.
LifeSTEPS & HOPE
AMCAL makes the dream of affordable housing possible and our non-profit partner, LifeSTEPS, sustains that dream by empowering individuals and communities to thrive.
LifeSTEPS delivers social services to serve low-wage earners living in affordable housing, including children, teens, and adults. The STEP in LifeSTEPS stands for ‘Skills Training and Educational Programs’ and is the heart of its mission.
Together, we created HOPE—Housing Opportunities and Personal Empowerment. Our partnership provides HOPE in many forms—valuable education programs and scholarships, intervention services that help families maintain housing, special grants, and funding. HOPE has served more than 10,000 residents in 44 California communities.
HOPE programs have achieved remarkable and heartwarming results.
Close to $600,000 has been raised by the Partnership for HOPE fund in the past seven years for academic scholarships, emergency assistance, and youth enrichment. More than $300,000 in academic scholarships has been awarded to 62 deserving young people, with a total of 191 total scholarships awarded. AMCAL scholars have attended and graduated from such schools as UCLA; UC Irvine; CSU, Long Beach; and CSU, Northridge.
The program has assisted 17 students to graduate from college from year one. Three HOPE Scholars have gone on to attend graduate school.
A number of younger students (whose siblings are HOPE Scholars) are following in their older siblings’ footsteps by becoming HOPE Scholars as well.
The remainder of the funds is used for resident youth and senior services.
These results are directly tied to the generosity of our donors who have joined us in this important initiative to change lives and build better futures.
Danielle Martin was a new Partnership for HOPE scholar in 2016. Her path toward becoming a PFH scholar took many detours before Danielle was able to find stability in her life and in her education. Growing up in foster care and moving from house to house, and from school to school was not conducive to educational success and focus. Now as a young adult, Danielle has taken control of her life. She lives in a stable home at Terracina Apartments in Los Angeles and is on track to graduate with her AA degree in psychology in June 2016.
For every roadblock that life threw at her, Danielle responded with a double dose of determination and resilience. Danielle has taken her own struggles and used them as motivation to empower other young women to aim for their personal goals as well. Danielle founded an organization geared toward girls in foster care and organizes an annual conference to focus on positivity and empowerment.
Danielle, herself, uses her artistic talents to share spoken word poetry with a positive message. She has traveled to the State Capitol with California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization that develops leaders to empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy, and practice change.
The Partnership for HOPE scholarship that Danielle received in Fall 2016 was a catalyst for her future academic success. After Danielle graduates with her AA degree, she has plans to enter UCLA and earn a Master’s degree in Social Work and plans to pursue a career as a child therapist. Danielle knows what it’s like to be that kid without a home or the student who never starts and ends a grade in the same school. Now with help from Partnership for HOPE, Danielle is on the path to bring HOPE to more students just like herself.
Sixteen-year-old Arturo Flores and his family live at AMCAL’s Villas Las Americas near Los Angeles. Arturo’s passion for soccer was sparked at the young age of five when he first learned the game at his neighborhood community recreation center. He was able to play on the recreation soccer team throughout elementary school, but by junior high, his soccer skills had far outpaced his peers. His coach recommended he join an academy soccer club, which he did.
Arturo’s father worked two jobs to help pay for the added expense of the academy soccer club which can cost as much as $2,300. Even that wasn’t quite enough to cover the costs so Arturo volunteered at the academy club located at Pierce College every Saturday as a soccer referee to get a reduced team fee. Maintaining the equipment, sorting uniforms—anything that needed to be done, Arturo was willing to do. He even convinced his parents to have him transferred to a high school that is three blocks closer to his team’s practice field. Less travel time meant more time honing his soccer skills.
Last season, Arturo and his family were beyond happy when they were recommended by their LifeSTEPS Director of Social Services to receive a Partnership for HOPE sports scholarship. He has now received two scholarships (approximately $800) that have greatly alleviated some of the stress on his parents in covering the academy club fees. Arturo’s father can even sometimes attend his son’s games, because he doesn’t have to work as hard to pay for added expenses. Arturo and his parents are very thankful for this award. His mother has shown her appreciation by bringing homemade snacks to the LifeSTEPS’ After School Program at their apartments.
It’s rewarding for LifeSTEPS staff, the After School Program children and anyone who knows this family to see how their dedication and extreme work effort and the Partnership for HOPE Scholarship Program have contributed to Arturo’s success. Arturo is doing well in school, is taking extra morning classes and after-school tutoring to help ensure he reaches his ultimate goal of going to college and later becoming a professional soccer player.