Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis has announced a $65 million public-private partnership in support of a housing development for veterans and individuals with complex medical conditions who are chronically homeless.
The partnership will enable Catholic Charities to acquire the Augustana Health Care Center in downtown Minneapolis from the nonprofit Cassia (formerly Augustana Care and Elim Care) and relocate its Exodus Residence there from a deteriorating building it has leased from St. Olaf Church since 1995. With the relocation to what Catholic Charities is calling "Exodus 2.0," the organization will increase the number of homeless people it serves from ninety-five to more than two hundred. For the past decade, Catholic Charities has provided case management services to low-income residents of Augustana Health Care Center and Augustana Apartments, a neighboring independent assisted living facility.
The project will be funded by $12.5 million from Catholic Charities, including a $3.5 million lead gift from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, as well as $3.3 million from the city, $23.6 million from the state, $20 million in tax credits, and $5 million from the county, pending final approval. Scheduled to open in 2021, the facility will include a permanent medical respite program — short-term residential care for homeless people who are recovering from an illness or injury — in partnership with Hennepin Healthcare and Hennepin County Public Health's Healthcare for the Homeless program, which will also open a storefront clinic to the broader community. Veterans will receive priority consideration for a hundred and fifty-four apartment homes, with another nineteen guaranteed.
"Exodus 2.0 comes at a critical time as Minnesota faces a housing and homelessness crisis," said Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis president and CEO Tim Marx. "A crisis this complex demands broad, diverse partnerships and innovative solutions. The Exodus 2.0 project is a perfect example of public, private; new and old partnerships in pursuit of one common goal: to better the lives of our most vulnerable."