After five years of dreaming, four and a half years of planning and fundraising, and a little more than a year of construction, Sulzbacher cut the ribbon on May 24th in front of a crowd of more than 300 friends and supporters to open Sulzbacher Village, a permanent, low-income housing community for women and families.
Among the dignitaries making comments and/or helping to cut the ribbon were Mayor Lenny Curry, Denise Leggett—HUD Regional Administrator, and Delores Barr Weaver, among others.
In addition to 70 studio, one and two-bedroom permanent-housing units for single women or women with families, Sulzbacher Village also provides 30 studio apartments for single women or women with children in need of temporary, emergency housing. A female veterans unit and a medical respite unit for women requiring follow-up care upon release from local hospitals round out the housing component of the new community—accommodating a total of 310 people.
“After years of planning, Sulzbacher Village is finally a reality,” said Cindy Funkhouser, Sulzbacher President and CEO. “It’s truly a miracle made possible by hundreds of donors and volunteers, our co-developer Vestcor, our investor Hunt Capital Partners, Wesley Fellowship United Methodist Church which provided the land and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation which awarded us low-income tax credits. It’s a game-changer for homeless women and families in our community which will have a long-lasting impact on them as they work to overcome their challenges and become more independent and self-sustaining.”
What makes Sulzbacher Village so unique are the additional services that will be available to its women and children residents onsite. They include:
- Case management, job training and life skills classes.
- A 7,000 square foot, state-of-the-art pediatric health center will offer primary care, dental, vision and behavioral health services. Children living in the Village, as well as children in the surrounding community, will be able to access services at the health center. This is a significant component of the project because the surrounding area is considered a healthcare desert.
- A therapeutic early learning center, providing young children, birth–5, with a high-quality early learning program to assure that children are ready to learn when they enter school. The behavioral health component will provide care for children who have experienced significant trauma stemming from domestic violence, physical abuse or other ordeals.
- An expanded children’s program will include a computer lab, fine arts program, homework support, mentoring and other age-appropriate activities.
- A female veterans unit will provide special programs and accommodations specifically suited to help them address their problems and move on with their lives.
“We expect Sulzbacher Village to become a national model for low-income housing projects,” said Funkhouser.
Local attorney, W.C. Gentry chaired the capital campaign and the Gentry Family Foundation provided the initial gift to get the effort going. The lead gift came from the Lucy B. Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust. Other major donors include the Crawford Family Foundation, the Jim Moran Foundation, Florida Blue, the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Bryan Family Trustees/The Henry and Lucy Gooding Endowment, the Neviaser Charitable Foundation, the DuBow Family Foundation and Mary Virginia Terry, among others. Operational funding and support for the pediatric health center is being provided by Baptist Health/Wolfson Children’s Hospital. More than 400 individuals and organizations have donated to the project.
The total development cost for the 92,000 square foot facility was $21 million. Sulzbacher raised close to $9 million and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation awarded Sulzbacher Village $9.2 million in 9% federal low income tax credits and $3.5 million in State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) funds. Jacksonville-based Vestcor Companies developed the project on behalf of Sulzbacher. Hunt Capital Partners facilitated an $8.4 million equity investment through its multi-investor fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 24.
PQH was the architect and Summit Contractors served as the general contractor. McGuireWoods provided all necessary legal services pro-bono.
In the near future, once the women and children move to the Village, the existing downtown Sulzbacher campus will enhance and expand its housing for men, along with its male veterans and respite care programs. Sulzbacher also expects to expand its downtown adult healthcare and behavioral health services, as well as its job training programs.
Did you miss the Ribbon Cutting? Check out our Facebook Photos
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to arrange a tour of Sulzbacher Village
call 394-8082 or visit