Catholic Charities Opens Endeavors Residence
New $75 million Catholic Charities at Elliot Park campus offers 173 homes for single adults who have experienced homelessness, a recuperative care wing, and a storefront health clinic
Historic investments from public and private partners support collaborative approach to community living.
Minneapolis, Minn. (May 18, 2022) – On May 18, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis marked the upcoming opening of Endeavors Residence and Catholic Charities at Elliot Park campus, a historic $75 million public-private partnership — located in Minneapolis’s Elliot Park neighborhood — supported by the State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, and several key partners and donors. Endeavors offers a unique model integrating housing and health care to ensure some of our community’s most vulnerable residents have a safe place to call home.
“The opening of Endeavors comes during a critical time as our community faces an acute lack of affordable housing coupled with public health challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Goar, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “We know that housing is health care, and Endeavors offers an important integrated approach that brings the two together, creating opportunities for our most vulnerable community members to thrive.”
The new Catholic Charities at Elliot Park campus includes:
- Endeavors Residence, formerly known as Exodus Residence (located in downtown Minneapolis), will provide homes for more than 173 single adults who have experienced homelessness, veterans, and people with complex medical conditions. Veterans will receive priority, providing a big boost to the state’s goal of ending veteran homelessness.
- The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Recuperative Care Center — implemented in partnership with Hennepin County Public Health’s Health Care for the Homeless program — will provide short-term respite opportunities for up to 30 people a night who are experiencing homelessness and need additional time to recover after being released from a hospital.
- Hennepin County’s Health Care for the Homeless Clinic will offer health care to area residents who require medical support and qualify for services based on income.
- The Frey Center at Elliot Park will serve as the new Catholic Charities headquarters and provide workspace for more than 200 staff, including administrative and Aging and Disability Services teams.
Public and Private Investments
Many public and private partners have made critical investments to make the $75 million Endeavors project a reality. Hennepin County, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority provided crucial financial support. Catholic Charities’ donors made significant private investments, including lead gifts from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and Mary and Gene Frey, as well as the pro bono development services of Dominium and others. CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), Sunrise Banks, and U.S. Bank contributed new market tax credits. Hennepin County — under a revised policy to proactively provide leadership on projects that address its priorities–was the first public partner to commit to the project, which helped secure much-needed state and local funding. The project received $30 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency — the largest award of HIBs given to date in state history.
These significant investments allowed Catholic Charities to purchase the former Augustana Health Care Center in December 2019 and conduct extensive renovation work to create the new Catholic Charities at Elliot Park facility — fully utilizing and preserving a building in a prime location that will offer 173 private, deeply affordable apartments to the region. The adaptive reuse preserves the original social purpose of the building while offering more resources and support to low-income adults in downtown Minneapolis.
“This partnership with Catholic Charities is a peak example of Hennepin County’s commitment to growing deeply affordable housing which offers our residents dignity, support, and long-term stability, said Marion Greene, Chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. “We know that safe, stable housing is closely intertwined with health and wellbeing, and we are proud to serve as an implementing partner in this arena too. Besides the significant capital support, our Hennepin County Health Care for the Homeless teams will be on-site every day, working with Catholic Charities staff to serve our neighbors and strengthen our community.”
“Endeavors is the outcome of partnership, investment, and commitment — demonstrating that significant investments in Housing Infrastructure Bonds can have a big impact in improving the lives of Minnesotans,” said Jennifer Ho, Commissioner at Minnesota Housing. “This project creates 173 homes and connection to health care to provide people the home and care they deserve. I hope the momentum of this project will fuel the important work ahead to ensure every Minnesotan has a place to call home.”
The Endeavors Residence Program Model
The Endeavors program will offer a unique integrated model of care that promotes housing stability, health, and wellbeing. A total of 173 units of housing in Endeavors Residence will provide a safe place to call home to single adults (ages 18 and up) from diverse backgrounds who have experienced homelessness and utilize supportive services. Many residents will be veterans, elderly, and/or have complex medical needs. Current residents of Exodus Residence worked with staff to choose the new name “Endeavors,” which conveys the resilience and possibilities found through each individual’s journey. Staff will provide care 24/7, using trauma-informed best practices. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Recuperative Care Center will provide short-term respite opportunities for 30 people experiencing homelessness who need additional time to recover after being released from a hospital. Staff will coordinate closely with local health care providers including neighboring Hennepin County Medical Center. Hennepin County’s Health Care for the Homeless Clinic will be embedded in the community, serving as a public neighborhood storefront clinic for area residents who require medical support and qualify for services based on income. Six medical examination rooms and space for psychiatric care for those seeking mental health support will be available onsite.
“Endeavors represents a model public-private partnership — smart, innovative thinking leveraged by collective strengths and fueled by doing what’s right,” said Jeff Huggett, Senior Vice President and Project Partner, Dominium. “So many partners made bold commitments to help our community members who are struggling the most. We’re proud to be part of this historic effort that made the Endeavors project possible.”
“Endeavors is an example of businesses and investors coming together around a thoughtful and innovative approach to building critical housing that will support those in need, focusing on the interconnection between housing and health care,” said Jonathan Weinhagen, President & CEO, Minneapolis Regional Chamber. “This shows our community at its best, and we will be stronger because of it.”
Milestone Reached at a Critical Juncture
With the completion of the Elliot Park facility, Catholic Charities has realized a significant achievement in the organization’s history: 1,000 deeply affordable housing units available to the community. In addition, Catholic Charities at Elliot Park serves as a purposeful reimagining for the organization. For the first time, headquarters staff — in addition to Aging and Disability Services staff — will be located together in one space alongside residents of one of our programs, creating true mission in action.
The completion of Endeavors is timely, as our region faces a homelessness and affordable housing crisis while simultaneously addressing public health challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. National and regional studies have consistently shown that the lack of affordable housing is a leading cause of homelessness, and there is a critical lack of affordable housing in the metro region. The pandemic has made it a challenge to know the exact numbers of people experiencing homelessness because most agencies suspended homeless “counts” in 2021, and data for 2022 is not yet available. Recent information from local providers (via Minnesota’s Homeless Management Information System) suggests that the number of people experiencing homelessness in the metro region is rising. In January 2020, around 5,000 individuals in the metro area stayed in emergency shelters or were served by local street outreach programs. In January 2022, that figure rose to 5,691 – an increase of almost 14 percent from pre-pandemic levels. State projections indicate the number of unsheltered homeless will continue to increase dramatically in the coming year.
“Housing is a right, and affordable housing is a top priority in our work to better serve the people of Minneapolis,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “We are committed to maintaining and growing our partnerships in these deeply-affordable housing projects to ensure all our residents have a place to call home. I’m grateful to Catholic Charities for stepping up to the challenge to create an innovative space that will support those in need and enrich our community.”
Catholic Charities at Elliot Park: Project History
The current Exodus Residence — located next to St. Olaf Church in downtown Minneapolis — provides housing and support to 95 people in a deteriorating building which Catholic Charities has leased from St. Olaf Catholic Church since 1995. In 2017, Catholic Charities and St. Olaf extended the lease until 2021 to allow time to secure a replacement. This was at the same time Catholic Charities was working with Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Dominium, and many others to complete the second phase of Dorothy Day Place — the largest public-private partnership in housing and social services in state history — which was completed in fall 2019. Despite the challenges of advancing another major project so soon, Catholic Charities and its partners were compelled to act because of the housing and homelessness crisis affecting the state and region. In December 2019, Catholic Charities secured critical funding from Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, generous private donors, and the largest award of Housing Infrastructure Bonds given to date by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. This enabled Catholic Charities to purchase the Augustana Health Care Center, which will serve as the new home to Endeavors and Catholic Charities at Elliot Park. Extensive renovation work began in spring 2020. Endeavors residents will move into their new homes in June. Catholic Charities staff will begin transitioning onsite in July.
Catholic Charities: Serving those Experiencing Homelessness and Housing Instability
Catholic Charities has a proven track record of creating significant public-private partnerships, leveraging resources, providing quality services, and managing projects with operational excellence for the benefit of vulnerable people and the broader community. Today, Catholic Charities operates four emergency shelters (serving single adults, youth, and families) and owns and manages more than 1,000 deeply affordable permanent housing units. In addition, Catholic Charities staff support people living in 550 additional apartments throughout the Twin Cities. The organization also operates two Opportunity Centers — one in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul — that serve as integrated, one-stop locations connecting people to critical services to improve their health, income, housing stability, and well-being. As the homelessness problem increased in the past decade, our programs grew to meet those needs. We have recently invested in more infrastructure to support this work and those we serve: (1) In 2012, we opened Higher Ground Minneapolis, which combines emergency and transitional shelter and permanent housing. (2) In 2019, we opened Dorothy Day Place, a two-building campus designed to prevent homelessness by focusing on three components: dignified shelter, more permanent homes and dedicated services that will create pathways out of poverty and homelessness; the campus — located in downtown St. Paul — serves 1,000 people per day. (3) Endeavors Residence — opening in 2022 — will provide 173 apartments and 30 medical respite beds for veterans, single adults and people with complex medical conditions.