HUD Secretary Ben Carson visits Riverside for discussion on homelessness, affordable housing

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made a visit to Riverside as part of a six-month listening tour across the country to see which communities are making significant strides in addressing homelessness and affordable housing.

One of Carson's stops included the Grove Community Church in Riverside. A little over a year ago, the church partnered with the city to build four homes on the church's grounds. The buildings make up a small village which houses homeless individual for a period of time until they are able to stabilize their lives.

The HUD secretary learned about the church's project and reached out for a meeting with the city and church leaders to learn more about the partnership.

During the secretary's visit, Carson toured one of the homes. He also learned about the churches other services to the village occupants, which include medical, dental, mental health counselling and job placement opportunities.

"Certainly if every church were to take that responsibility, there would be no homeless situation. It's something churches use to do and I think it's something I think we need to start emphasizing," Carson said.

Carson, who chairs the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, described the Grove Community Church as a model that other churches can follow across the nation.
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