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Rockwood Village supports resident's youth with interactive, educational programing

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - At the Rockwood Village's Expresiones program, resident's children get to work on STEM projects with youth organizations like Day One Tech. When the people at Hacienda CDC completed its Rockwood Village Apartments, their mission was to not only provide affordable housing, but also create programs that will continue to support their residents in addition to providing low cost housing.

One of those support programs is the organizations after school and summer program Expresiones, the Spanish word for expressions. The thought behind the program was to provide Rockwood Village's youngest residents an on-site educational program that helps provide connection, school support and enrichment opportunities that can help support them and their families in the future.

"Our goal here is to keep kids engaged throughout the summer to prevent summer learning loss and fun activities for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade," said Jaclyn Sarna, Director of Youth and Family Services at Hacienda CDC.

The program is completely free for parents living in the Rockwood Village apartments. Although Sarna said that the program is primarily targeted for residents, neighbors are also welcomed to have their kids join.

Sarna also said programs like these are extremely important for many of the Rockwood Village's residents because childcare can be so expensive

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Rockwood VIllages after-school and summer programs keep their youngest residents learning and active. Since childcare can be so expensive, Sarna said that this free resource is extremely important for the Rockwood Village's residents who might not be able to afford childcare.

"We believe housing is just the start and that people deserve access to things like youth programs, rent assistance and utility assistance," Sarna said. "A lot of the people who live in low-income housing don't have access to the more expensive summer camps. So, we like to find partners who will provide that same kind of services for free, at their home and in a place that they are familiar."

Rockwood Village is a 7.4-acre development located at 783 S.E. 185th Ave. was developed by Community Development Partners and Hacienda CDC.

The community housing includes 224 units, five residential buildings, a community center, a privately funded public park and an urban farm. It includes a mix of one to four-bedroom homes for households of a variety of sizes and income levels.

Rockwood Village serves individuals and families earning 30% to 70% of the area median income, with rents ranging between $500 and $1,894 based on floor plan and income level. Meant to meet the needs of larger families, nearly 80% of the homes are multi-bedroom units.

Funding for the project came from the 2018 voter-approved Metro affordable housing bond measure. That was created to supply more affordable living opportunities for people across the region.

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