A story of the Dorothy Day Center
In the beginning the Dorothy Day Center was meant as a training center, but because of a need in St. Paul seen by community members, Catholic Charities decided to help. It became a consistent resource for many homeless year round and soon had to turn people away due to space limitations.
Early last year, Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced the largest public-private partnership of its kind. Backed by broad support and funding from both public and private sources, the vision was for a new Dorothy Day Center – two buildings with temporary and permanent residence plus support structures to empower and dignify those in need.
In January 2017, Higher Ground St Paul opened its doors to a community in need. The 5 story building across from the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St Paul contains 193 single room and apartment style units. Already, these units are filled and assisted 473 people of all backgrounds from the elderly, veterans and young adults struggling to make ends meet.
Catholic Charities wanted to bring more dignity to their services in this renovation of the Dorothy Day Center. The new buildings include showers, storage lockers, and light meals. Some residents have said,
“Catholic charities is my backbone, they’re there to pick me up, they rescued me in a time when I needed them…”
– Markeus from room #327
“Catholic Charities is a blessing for everybody in need.”
– Camille Pasha
Phase 2 of the project is underway in St. Paul. The building will contain the Opportunity Center and Dorothy Day Residence, and the goal is to be up and running in the next 12 months. This building will serve for more daily services such as emergency housing, transition housing, a health clinic, mental health services center, education guidance, veteran services, and employment services ranging from training to job placement. Truly a place for the benefit of all community members.
In Minnesota, the Dorothy Day Place project is the largest public-private social services collaboration in history. Funded with the support of local and state government and private sector leaders, the Dorothy Day Place project is a unique real estate development helping those in need.
The Shenehon Center for Real Estate of the University of St. Thomas is dedicated to advancing public and private interest in real estate issues as a resource and platform to the commercial, residential and corporate real estate segments. To learn more, please visit the Shenehon Center site at www.stthomas.edu/centers/shenehon or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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