Casa San Juan Bosco Farmworker Community Holds Grand Opening in Arcadia, Florida
On January 23, 2013, Catholic Charities Housing of the Diocese of Venice, Florida, held a blessing and official opening of 53 new houses in Arcadia, Florida. These homes will be offered as affordable rentals, with emphasis on outreach to area farmworkers.
The land for this farmworker community was purchased with a loan from Florida Community Loan Fund's Community Development Fund. The project has been eight years in the making, with additional assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
The idea for the community began in 2004 after Hurricane Charley destroyed much of the available farmworker housing in DeSoto County. Sister Cathy Buster and her colleagues at Sisters of Providence formed a non-profit organization and, through Catholic Charities Housing, have brought their dream to reality. The new 3- and 4-bedroom homes incorporate Green, energy efficient, and hurricane-proof features, and there is also a community center with a computer room, library, room for social events, and management office.
Guests at the Grand Opening ceremony included:
Peter Routsis-Arroyo, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Housing, Diocese of Venice
Rev. Monsignor Stephen McNamara, Diocese of Venice
Sister Cathy Buster, Project Director and VP, Casa San Juan Bosco
Richard Machek, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Ron Hamel, Citrus Growers Association
Buddy Mansfield, DeSoto County Commission
Keith Keene, Mayor of Arcadia
Eugene H. Turner, Turner Realty
Rev. Jerome A. Carosella, Our Lady of Mercy Parich, Boca Grande
In his remarks at the opening event, Mr. Richard Machek of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that "Casa San Juan is a beacon that others will want to follow."
To read more about FCLF's work with Casa San Juan Bosco, click here.
To view more photos of Casa San Juan Bosco, visit our Flickr page.
CNN News also published an article on Casa San Juan Bosco.
Some information in this article courtesy of the Sisters of Providence blog of January 28, 2013.