Media Contact: Jeremy Bermender
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DALLAS – October 20, 2020 – Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD) and Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI) have unveiled plans for a new project to address housing insecurity and homelessness in Dallas, on the heels of the second anniversary of their first collaboration, St. Jude Center - Forest, a highly successful permanent supportive housing community for chronically homeless seniors. As with the original St. Jude Center, this new project represents an innovative public-private partnership involving multiple non-profit organizations and government entities, such as Dallas County.
SJI Park Central LLC ("SJI"), a member of CHI, is in contract for the purchase of the Gateway Hotel Dallas Park Central, a four-story, 180-unit property located at 8102 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, just west of U.S. Highway 75/Central Expressway. SJI plans to close on the property in early December for mid-December occupancy; CCD will serve as the property manager, manage the delivery of supportive social services to residents and act as the coordinator for other participating non-profits, such as CitySquare, MetroCare Services and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, all of which have agreed to provide services to residents as they do at the original St. Jude.
“We know from our success with St Jude Center - Forest that we can actually reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness and help residents achieve stability,” said Joe Dingman, Treasurer and one of the founders of CHI. “We thank the Dallas County Commissioners and their staff for their vision and creativity in solving more than one problem with this project: COVID support in the short term and permanent supportive housing over the long term.”
The first phase of St. Jude Center – Park Central will serve individuals who are housing insecure or homeless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will receive three meals daily, full-time case managers and care coordinators will be on-site to assess the need for additional services.
“Our goal with St. Jude Center Park Central is to provide a safe and welcoming home for people displaced by COVID-19 and beyond, and then ensure they receive the care, compassion and resources to get back on their feet again,” said Dave Woodyard, President/CEO of CCD. “With all of the project partners involved, we can work to address any physical or mental health needs, provide financial coaching to stabilize their situations, direct residents to various agencies to receive appropriate benefits, and help them find employment.”
The former hotel was selected by the project partners due to its location along two major highway corridors, its proximity to light-rail and bus lines, and its access to multiple employment centers within minutes of the facility. The goal with Phase I is to “graduate” residents back to independent living environments, with the tools and resources to be financially stable.
A second phase of the project will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically or more recently homeless individuals. Each of the units will be fully furnished efficiencies, each with full kitchens and private bathrooms. As with the first phase, the goal will be to “graduate” residents to independent living and ultimately full self-reliance.
The estimated cost of the project is $14.75 million, including $9.75 million for the acquisition of the property and $5 million in renovations and other costs. Renovations will begin immediately after closing and continue for approximately nine months, concurrent with Phase I use. Dallas County has committed $8 million to St. Jude Center – Park Central towards the property acquisition plus operational support for Phase I. As the need for COVID-related housing subsides, the project will transition into Phase II, at which point project sponsors will arrange for rental subsidies from HUD vouchers, private foundation grants and donations from individual donors.
“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the lack of low-income housing in Dallas County. Addressing the rising homelessness and housing insecurity in Dallas County requires innovative collaborations among both public and private partners,” said Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel. “With the success of the original St. Jude Center, we have tremendous confidence in CCD and CHI and thus the new St. Jude Center – Park Central and its ability to provide safe, stable housing for those in need and help get them back on track on a path to financial stability.”
About Catholic Charities Dallas
CCD is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization and one of the leading social service providers in the greater Dallas region. We educate, serve and empower more than 200,000 clients in need annually across a nine-county region of North Texas, addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness. A large multi-disciplinary agency, CCD provides services in the following core areas: hunger alleviation through boxed food pantries, client choice pantries and mobile community pantries; early childhood education; low-income elderly supports; permanent supportive housing for homeless elderly; immigration legal services; pregnancy, parenting and adoption counseling; refugee resettlement; shelter and foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors; financial coaching and career development assistance; disaster preparedness and relief; community relations, advocacy and more. For more information, see www.ccdallas.org.
About Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI)
CHI is a community-based, non-profit organization founded in 1991 by a group of Catholics with a mission to provide quality, affordable family and senior housing. In addition to St Jude Center, it owns and operates 768 apartment units in Coppell, Carrollton, Mesquite, and Dallas. CHI also is now beginning its second ownership housing project in the Five Mile neighborhood of Dallas. Of its existing housing inventory, approximately 20% are dedicated to seniors, and the rest are aimed at families. CHI has substantial development and redevelopment experience in addition to its operating and financing expertise. CHI owns the project and provides facility and financial oversight, including securing housing assistance arrangements with DHA and others. For more info, see www.CHIDallas.org.