Catholic Charities Announces Fundraising Milestone for Dorothy Day Center

Saint Paul, Minn. (May 6, 2016)—Today, Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced that more than 75 percent of the private fundraising goal has been secured for the new vision for the Dorothy Day Center in Saint Paul. This is likely the largest public-private partnership of its kind in state history, securing broad support and funding from both public and private sources. Campaign leaders announced the milestone at the annual Dorothy Day Community Breakfast—the last community breakfast with the Dorothy Day Center standing in its current location, provided that public and private investments continue. After serving as a vital community resource at the gateway to Saint Paul for 35 years, the Center is scheduled for demolition next year to make way for the second of two buildings that make up the new vision for the Dorothy Day Center.

“For 35 years, the Dorothy Day Center has been a place of hope and refuge for those in need,” said Tim Marx, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. “Thanks to this historic public-private partnership, we are making way for a new vision that will provide dignified shelter, permanent homes, and pathways out of poverty. The continued progress and success of this public-private partnership is vital to complete this transformational project.”

About 400 business and community leaders attended the Community Breakfast where it was announced that $31,235,098 has been raised toward the $40 million private Capital Campaign to fully fund the new vision for the Dorothy Day Center.

More than $7.6 million has been raised since Campaign totals were announced in October 2015, including: Hardenbergh Foundation ($1.1 million); Premier Banks ($1 million); Land O’Lakes, Inc. ($500,000); Sit Investment Associates, Inc. ($300,000); Wells Fargo Foundation ($250,000); and The Wilf Family ($250,000). This marks significant progress since October 2015, when Campaign leaders announced that they had raised $23 million. The new vision for the Dorothy Day Center – an innovative model to prevent and end homelessness – has an estimated cost of $100 million.

Fifteen prominent regional and statewide business leaders are spearheading the private fundraising campaign, including campaign co-chairs Doug Baker, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Ecolab; Mary Brainerd, President and Chief Executive Officer of HealthPartners; and Andy Cecere, President and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Bank.

The Campaign launched in May 2015 with a $5 million lead grant by The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation—the most significant private investment to support Catholic Charities in recent history.

The Campaign will continue to leverage significant public-private investments and partnership to prevent and end homelessness. To date, the State of Minnesota, Ramsey County, and other public sources have committed more than $25 million. This legislative session, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Senate recommended a $12 million state investment in General Obligation Bonds for the Opportunity Center as well as significant investments in Housing Infrastructure Bonds—both of which are critical funding sources to complete this integrated transformational project. Catholic Charities and its many community partners continue working to build statewide, bipartisan support for this critical project at the Capitol.

• Doug Baker, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Ecolab (co-chair)
• Mary Brainerd, President and CEO, HealthPartners (co-chair)
• Andy Cecere, President and COO, U.S. Bank (co-chair)
• Tim Baer, EVP and General Counsel, Target
• Richard Davis, Chairman and CEO, U.S. Bank
• Tom Handley, President and COO, Ecolab
• Jim Bauman, EVP, Electronics and Energy Business Group, 3M
• Terry Dolan, Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Securities Services, U.S. Bank
• Christopher Hilger, President and CEO, Securian Financial Group
• Carl Casale, President and CEO, CHS Inc.
• Pat Donovan, CEO, Bremer Bank
• Laura Oberst, EVP and Central Region Head, Wells Fargo
• Bert Colianni, CEO, Marquette Companies
• Carol Frey Wolfe, VP/Program Manager, Frey Foundation
• Jon Theobald, Chairman and CEO, Mairs & Power

All of Us Together: A New Vision for the Dorothy Day Center
This project, estimated to cost approximately $100 million, is based on an innovative and proven model run by Catholic Charities in Minneapolis, and will consist of a two-building campus to prevent and end homelessness:
• Phase 1 – Higher Ground Saint Paul – this 5-story building will provide dignified emergency shelter and a range of different permanent housing options, including 193 units of permanent housing. Higher Ground Saint Paul—located adjacent to the current Dorothy Day Center—is under construction and is scheduled to open later this year.
• Phase 2 – Opportunity Center and Housing – located just across the street from Higher Ground Saint Paul, the 6-story Opportunity Center will be an integrated one-stop location connecting people to critical services to improve their health, income, housing stability, and well-being. Service delivery at the Opportunity Center will feature partner organizations in the community, including Catholic Charities, Ramsey County, the Veterans Administration, health care providers and many others. 171 units of permanent housing are planned above the Opportunity Center. Catholic Charities has the goal of completing construction by 2018.

History and Project Timeline
In 1981, Catholic Charities opened the Dorothy Day Center as a drop-in center for meals, serving approximately 30-50 people per day. Over time, due to increasing homelessness, it was forced to become a 24/7/365 overnight shelter—something it was never designed or intended to do. It is overcrowded, overwhelmed, and deteriorating. Today, more than 6,000 people rely on the Dorothy Day Center each year, including hundreds of people who sleep on thin mats on the floor every night.

In 2011, for the first time in its history, Catholic Charities was forced to turn people away from the Dorothy Day Center, leading people to camp in the surrounding area – it was a breaking point that launched a community response. In 2012, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman convened a diverse Task Force of community leaders to assess the urgent situation at the Dorothy Day Center, and in 2013 the Task Force issued its recommendation for an innovative new vision to prevent and end homelessness.

For more information, including how to get involved, visit

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