Casa Garcia, affordable townhouses dedicated

June 23, 2000
Santa Paula News
Casa Garcia, the 14-unit townhouse development designed to better the quality of life for working families of Santa Paula, was formally opened on Saturday with a special dedication to the late community leader the complex is named in honor of. Casa Garcia, named in honor of Ray Garcia, will be a place of peace and hope, promised the numerous officials at the dedication.Welcomed by CEDC Board President David Sabedra, city, county and federal officials, incoming tenants and supporters, took part in the Blessing by the Rev. Thomas S. Dome of St. Sebastian Church.Jesse Ornelas, CEDC project manager, noted that where once was a vacant field in a blighted area is now home to 12 three-bedroom and two four-bedroom units and park areas. Such improvements will enhance the neighborhood and raise tax values. “Casa Garcia stands as an example of what affordable housing is,” Ornelas said.Thelma Garcia, widow of Ray Garcia, said the complex is a “monument to hope, tenacity and real smarts. Thank you for the honor you do Ray. . .always and forever our hearts will beat as one.”Latino Town Hall President Bob Borrego, Mary Clark of Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, Mary Anne Krause representing Supervisor Kathy Long and City Councilwoman Laura Flores Espinosa also spoke, with a common theme of providing safe and quality housing to working families.“Ray was a great leader and a great friend,” said Borrego. “Casa Garcia is a great victory for those who believe in justice and equality.”Espinosa said the dedication of Casa Garcia is “a great day for celebration,” that includes CEDC partners and sponsors. “It shows what a difference it can make if we strive to work together.”
Over 100 families applied for rental housing at Casa Garcia, which offers two car automatic garages and all appliances, including a washer and dryer. The units have patio areas as well as enclosed front porches adding a Craftsman touch.Rodney Fernandez, president of CEDC, said that Garcia was a “tremendous person, a leader. . .there was a malaise in town, including me, and he was a spark to get involved.”A bench anchored with river valley boulders and designed and constructed by Santa Paula artist Eric Richards was dedicated in Garcia’s memory.Thelma Garcia told how impressed he had been by a rock in New Mexico near a wagon train route and later a railroad. . .located near a pool of water, travelers would carve their names and the date they passed by.A plaque reading “I passed by here” will be placed on one of the bench boulders. Her late husband “liked the idea. . .I passed by here, and I made a difference here.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.