Eddie Woolfolk welcomed people on Friday to a groundbreaking ceremony on Welton Street with a polite greeting before rejoicing with an animated shout: “Hallelujah!”
It seemed fitting, given that she and her husband, Robert Woolfolk, pastor at Agape Christian Church, faced a long road to get here.
The ceremony, hosted under a large tent as snow blanketed the city, marked what at various times over the past two years seemed unlikely after the project was delayed due to parking concerns raised by neighbors.
“We are so grateful and so thankful, for God, first of all, and for all of you who have been a part of this,” Eddie Woolfolk said.
Work will begin soon on their vision to build affordable housing along this strip of Welton Street near 29th Avenue. The final product, Charity’s House, will be a 36-unit affordable housing complex available only to the city’s poorest residents, including people who have experienced homelessness or were formerly incarcerated.
“This project makes a substantial commitment to those nobody else will serve,” said Councilmember Candi CdeBaca, speaking during Friday’s ceremony.
The initial plan to erect the housing complex was rejected by the city’s Board of Adjustment for Zoning in 2020, since it requested a variance asking for fewer parking spots. Then last June, the city tweaked its zoning code, allowing for changing the number of required parking spaces per unit for affordable housing projects. The Woolfolks then submitted a new plan that was approved, allowing them to move forward with the project, which began with the demolition of three homes the Woolfolks owned in that space.
Robert Woolfolk thank the people who helped, prayed and volunteered at the Community Outreach Service Center, a nonprofit the Woolfolks run, and for supporting their efforts to establish the new complex.
“We thank you for just being there, constantly with us,” Robert Woolfolk said.
The $13.7 million complex is scheduled to open in April 2024.