BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Renovations are complete on the historic building on Genesee Street in Buffalo, where Evergreen Lofts will provide an affordable option for those facing housing challenges, including members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom took a look around Monday.
Starting in August, Carmen Leon will live in one of the 56 new units. To anyone else, it may seem like just a new apartment, but for Leon, it's a place where she can finally cook for her family, and feel safe at home.
"It's like a dream come true. I've never been so blessed," said Leon, "I was in a bad situation which, I don't have a place to stay."
The $16.5 million project focused on creating affordable housing for those who are homeless, or at risk of becoming so. It's the latest effort of Evergreen Health Services, whose motto is "Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow."
"We know that any kind of housing people have, it can't just be shelter, it has to be a nurturing environment,"said Ron Silverio, president & CEO of Evergreen Association. "So we will have available here on site and at our main campus, medical services and supportive services and mental health, and substance abuse services and job training services."
Also provided is an accepting environment for members of the LGBTQ community, who were encouraged to apply.
"Our goal was to make sure our facility was a place people both were welcomed and would feel comfortable," said Silverio.
That isn't always the case, as Timothy and Edward Wallace have experienced firsthand.
"There still is, I mean, a lot of discrimination, of course, I mean there's always ignorant people, but I think this will really make the community stronger, and build great ties," said Timothy Wallace. "This is an amazing opportunity not only for my husband and I but for the whole LGBT community."
A sense of camaraderie is already building among the future neighbors, as they look forward to experiencing this opportunity together.
"Means so much, you don't have no idea, it's like a castle for me. I guess there's still angels out there, and this is a beautiful team who put all this work together just for us and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," said Leon.