Catholic Charities will open a new state-of-the-art homeless shelter on Thursday in the North Loop neighborhood on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.
Higher Ground will provide beds for up to 336 people a night, including 85 units of permanent housing. In addition to providing a place to sleep, the new building will offer housing assistance, health care services and even a computer lab.
It will replace an older homeless shelter a few blocks away. John Petroskas, manager of Catholic Charities' housing program, said the new building will serve more people and serve them better.
"We're able to offer so much more comfort and decency and dignity for people than we are at our current facility," he said.
Kate Kelly, the director of external affairs for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, says Higher Ground is a huge improvement over the facility it's replacing, where many people had to sleep on floor mats.
"Our new building has the wrap-around services that are required to help our folks move off the mats, move on to bunks and move up," she said.
Catholic Charities will close the older facility, which is called Secure Waiting. Higher Ground has its grand opening Thursday, and people start moving in next week.