Singing "We Shall Overcome" and clasping hands to form a giant circle, more than 100 community and church members celebrated Thursday the dedication of a soon-to-be-opened senior housing complex on West 85th Street in South Los Angeles, one of the hardest-hit areas in the 1992 riots.
"There is something good that can come out of South-Central Los Angeles," said Rev. Edward Howard. "We had a vision, and the Bible said without a vision, we will perish."
Painted bright lemon yellow, the nearly completed structure is a 106-unit apartment complex for seniors at least 62 years old who have fixed incomes of $17,950 or less if they are single, and $20,000 or less for married couples.
The rent per unit is $549 a month and includes two meals a day. Seniors are scheduled to start moving into the building in mid-May, officials said. Already, 40 people have signed up to live in the new apartments.
"I think it's nice," said Rev. Haywood Ross, 69, as he toured the facility. "I put in my application."
The $8.6-million housing complex was developed by the P & P Home for the Elderly, a nonprofit division of the Philippians Baptist and Progressive Baptist churches, and funded through the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, Bank of America, Home Savings of America and the Related Companies.
The site of the complex had been vacant for years until P & P officials bought the land and made plans for the apartment, Howard said.