Hundreds of additional beds for people who are homeless will open next year in downtown Minneapolis.
Catholic Charities says its new 336-bed facility called is Higher Ground. Catholic Charities CEO Tim Marx said it replaces what Catholic Charities intended as a temporary homeless shelter that is now 15 years old.
"One of the reasons that Higher Ground is being built and was envisioned is to be a substitute for that facility but also build in the opportunity for people to the next step housing what are called pay for stay beds and then into their own into their own separate apartments as well," Marx said.
Marx said Catholic Charities has had a 22 percent increase in its shelter usage the past two years. The state of Minnesota is expected to pay more than $12 million for the $18 million project. Other funds will come from Catholic Charities, Hennepin County and the Pohlad Family Foundation, among others.
The overall funding will come from a variety of sources:
• $12.75 million from the State of Minnesota/Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
• $2.346 million in private fundraising through Catholic Charities
• $2.145 million from Hennepin County
• $926,000 from the Community Housing Development Corporation
• $284,000 from the City of Minneapolis/Metropolitan Council
The building will be built at 165 Glenwood Ave. N in Minneapolis. It will be part of Catholic Charities' Glenwood and Evergreen complex. Glenwood Residence and Evergreen Residence are permanent housing programs that provide homes to people who were homeless. Community Housing Development Corporation is developing the project, and Frerichs Construction is the lead contractor on the project. The anticipated completion date is summer 2012.
Higher Ground will provide 336 units of shelter and housing, including 200 emergency and transitional beds. Secure Waiting provides 251 beds and mats. Additional client resources at Higher Ground will include job skills training, mental health support services and onsite direct health support.
The new program exchanges mats on the floor at Secure Waiting for bunkbeds in the emergency shelter portion of the program. The second floor contains 80 pay-for-stay beds, where residents pay $8 per night for their bed. Those funds are set aside for clients to use when they move into apartments.
Four floors contain 74 single-room occupancy units, and the top floor contains 11 efficiency apartments. The combined Evergreen, Glenwood and Higher Ground residences will provide housing for more than 450 people. Higher Ground will also provide supportive service such as housing assistance, a computer lab and medical care.
"Hennepin County, in keeping with Heading Home Hennepin -- our 10-year plan to end homelessness -- is pleased to be a partner in the development of Higher Ground," said Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman. "Congratulations to Catholic Charities and the Community Housing Development Corporation for envisioning this innovative housing, shelter and supportive services model that will break the vicious and costly cycle of homelessness experienced by too many of our most vulnerable residents. Higher Ground is about ending homelessness with compassion and expertise, creating a place where dignity is restored and hope renewed."
• State of Minnesota/Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
• Hennepin County Affordable Housing Incentive Fund
• Heading Home Hennepin
• Hennepin County Environmental Response Fund
• US Bank
• Department of Housing and Urban Development
• Family Housing Fund
• Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation
• Metropolitan Council
• Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
• The city of Minneapolis
• Pohlad Family Foundation
• Annette Atkins and Tom Joyce Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation
• Community Housing Development Corporation
• JL Pope Associates
• St. Stephen's Human Services
• Frerichs Construction
• Cermak Rhoades Architects