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Bishop Street Studios opens its door to 33 residents coping with mental illness

All of the new tenants signed a one-year lease
Posted: 4:18 AM, Nov 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-18 07:18:05-05
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Bishop Street Studios had its grand opening Saturday afternoon.

The newly renovated property which was formerly named Sunny Acres Orphanage will now provide housing for 33 residents dealing with mental illness.

Dorothy Baldwin lived in Sunny Acres in 1936 and says she hopes the new residents will also make great memories like the ones she has.

"I just want them to know that these walls - we prayed all the time and there was much happiness here and I wish them all that happiness, too" said Baldwin.

Victoria Murtagh was one of the 33 lottery selected applicants out of 290 that were qualified and says she's happy to finally have a place to call her own after being homeless for the past four years.

"It's great that they redid it all and made it into apartments so that people have a roof over their head because I'm sure there's a lot of people like me that didn't have a roof over their head - living in their cars or their parents house” said Murtagh.

The project began eight years ago and was made possible through a financial collaboration between The Housing Authority, Transitions Mental Health Association, San Luis Obispo County and donations from the community.

Nearly $630,000 of the 2017-2018 Community Development Grant Funds was used to buy the property.

All of the new tenants signed a one-year lease and will pay rent based on their incomes.

"The goal is to offer permanent, supported housing, so to be able to offer this to thirty-three new lucky people, it's fantastic" said Joe Madsen, the Director for housing of Transitions Mental Health Association.

Tenants will eventually be able to enjoy the community room which will provide them with counseling, money management classes, and other activities.