NEW YORK -- Icahn House, a $7 million homeless facility in the South Bronx funded by Trans World Airlines Chairman Carl Icahn, was dedicated Tuesday two months after its completion.
The 65-unit complex, which took 10 months to build and houses homeless families consisting of single, pregnant women and single women with children, was officially dedicated at a ceremony attended by New York City Mayor David Dinkins and Icahn.
Icahn is founder and president of the Childrens' Rescue Fund, a not- for-profit charitable organization formed in 1988 to develop projects for the homeless, such as Icahn House.
'Icahn House is the first project the fund has initiated,' said Robert Osborne, vice president of the fund.
The project initially was financed by Icahn's fund, and then state and city agencies picked up some of the financing, Osborne said.
'We put up all the money and built the project and then the state of New York floated revenue bonds and bought the mortgage from us,' Osborne said. The $7 million was put back into the fund for future projects, he said.
Osborne said having a private builder construct the facility was 'much more efficient and less expensive.'
Icahn House, a six-story building located in the South Bronx, currently houses 65 families, including 142 children.
'In an era of reduced federal funding it is vital that our public and private sectors join together to insure the safety and proper development of our children,' Icahn said in a statement. 'Icahn House is an urban model that exemplifies what is possible when we as a society work together to address the critical issues of the present and future.'
The facility provides temporary housing, Osborne said. 'We envision people staying only six months on average,' he said, adding that they will not remove families until they find permanent housing.
Osborne said Icahn House is set up to provide the homeless with assistance to find jobs and also homes. It is fully staffed with social workers, housing specialists, a nurse and a full day-care center.
'The youth of America are our most valuable assets, and each child must be given every opportunity to help lead this country into the 21st century,' Icahn said. 'Facilities like Icahn House can help us meet this responsibility, and give hope to the neediest and most disadvantaged members of our society.'