Chinatown Community Development Center, Em Johnson Inc/UrbanCore Development LLC and Tabernacle Community Development Corporation to host

Ribbon-Cutting and Grand Opening of Mary Helen Rogers Senior Community 100 Low-income and Homeless Seniors Now Have a New Place to Call Home




San Francisco (October 28, 2013) -- On Monday, October 28, 2013, Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC), Em Johnson Inc/UrbanCore Development, LLC, and Tabernacle Community Development Corporation will host the grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Mary Helen Rogers Senior Community. The Grand Opening will take place on from 11:45am – 1:30pm at 701 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

Mary Helen Rogers Senior Community (MHRSC), named in honor of community activist Mary Helen Rogers, is 100 units of new affordable housing for low-income seniors. MHRSC is a joint venture of Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC) and Em Johnson Interest/UrbanCore Development, LLC, in collaboration with Tabernacle Community Development Corporation. The project at 701 Golden Gate Avenue includes indoor/outdoor community spaces, a computer lab, and a community café. Twenty apartments are set aside for homeless seniors under the Department of Public Health’s Direct Access to Housing Program.

Michael Johnson, President of Em Johnson Inc/UrbanCore Development LLC said "this project is dedicated to the legacy of Mary Helen Rogers, and her never ending fight for justice and equality for the African American community in the Western Addition and citywide".

Mary Helen Rogers (1926-2006), also known as the mother of the Western Addition, was a long-time community activist who fought for economic development and affordable housing for her community since the 1960s. In 1966, Ms. Rogers helped form the Western Addition Community Organization (WACO), which filed a lawsuit to halt the Redevelopment Agency’s plans to displace over 13,500 residents from the newly formed Western Addition A2 urban renewal area. The WACO lawsuit was instrumental in getting community concerns addressed including the need for more affordable housing. Mary Helen Rogers Senior Community is situated on a former site of the Central Freeway and the last Redevelopment Agency project in the Western Addition A-2 Project area.

The mission of the Chinatown Community Development Center is to build community and enhance the quality of life for low-income residents of San Francisco's neighborhoods. We are a community development organization with many roles--serving as neighborhood advocates, organizers and planners, providers of youth leadership training, and as developers and managers of affordable housing. Since its founding in 1977, CCDC has developed 24 affordable housing buildings, serving over 2,300 low-income seniors, formerly homeless adults, and families. We have nurtured neighborhood and volunteer associations led by seniors, families, and youth, with a membership exceeding 1,600 people. We have helped plan and build community centers and parks, coordinated street and alleyway improvements, and spearheaded neighborhood beautification efforts.

Ms. Rogers’ lifetime of community work helped lead to the revitalization of the Western Addition and the rebranding of the Fillmore Jazz District. She rallied countless people to join the fight for economic equality throughout San Francisco. This project is not only named for and inspired by Ms. Rogers but is also the direct result of her advocacy work.

“Mary Helen Rogers was a hero to many housing advocates not only in the Western Addition, but also throughout the City of San Francisco,” said Rev. Norman Fong, Chinatown CDC Executive Director. “Those of us who continue to fight for more affordable are inspired by her leadership and the examples she set. Ms. Rogers was a champion for poor people who did not compromise her principles and always spoke the truth. We look forward to celebrating the opening of Mary Helen Rogers Senior Community.”

The developers have worked to ensure that the project is an attractive and enlivening addition to the neighborhood; community leaders reached out extensively to inform eligible seniors about the project and to help them apply for housing. Now 100 seniors have a place to call home. Founded in 1977, Chinatown Community Development Center’s (Chinatown CDC) goal is to build affordable housing, develop grassroots leadership, and empower low-income residents and youth for civic engagement in San Francisco. Chinatown CDC own and/or manage 23 properties in San Francisco, totaling nearly 2100 units of affordable housing for over 2,300 low-income seniors, formerly homeless adults, and families. Chinatown CDC’s residents are diverse and speak 14 languages including English, Chinese, Tagalog, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese.

The Development Partners

About Em Johnson Inc/UrbanCore Development, LLC
Em Johnson Inc/UrbanCore Development, LLC has been a leading San Francisco Bay Area real estate development company for more than 20 years, and has successfully completed, or has in progress, a total of 32 projects, including approximately 3,000 housing units and over 100,000 square feet at a cost of over $850 million throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, Oregon, as well as several projects in the Southeast U.S.

About Tabernacle Community Development Corporation
The Tabernacle Community Development Corporation (TCDC) is a faith-based nonprofit organization that has been working for years to enhance the health, stability and diversity of the San Francisco’s neighborhoods. TCDC’s primary goal is to provide access to safe, clean and reasonably priced housing rentals and homes to buy for working families. TCDC works to increase participation of local ministers in the Tabernacle Community Development Corporation.

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