Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Catholic Charities, Claremont Development, and Arc Building Partners, joined Jersey City officials to break ground on the new $16 million St. Lucy’s Homeless Shelter this morning.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“This project is a tangible example of how the Archdiocese of Newark is heeding the call of Jesus, who asked his followers to help the vulnerable,” Tobin, the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, said.
“Projects like this are desperately needed to bring the Gospel to life, which is why we are thankful to Mayor Fulop for his support and the ongoing collaboration between the development team and Catholic Charities. May their partnership continue to prosper as they begin the construction process.”
The services are all offered in separate older buildings on Grove Street by Catholic Charities will now be consolidated into the new five-story building.
The $16 million facility will have 165 beds for individuals who are homeless, 14 units of transitional housing for those with HIV, five permanent supportive housing units for families, and 15 affordable housing studio apartments.
“This is the first time in decades that Jersey City would be building to house our most vulnerable residents,” Mayor Steven Fulop added.
They will also provide access to comprehensive case management services on-site to help individuals find permanent housing, employment, and address other needs, such as physical and mental health along with substance issues.
Catholic Charities will have offices on the second floor of the shelter where clients can be seen. It will include a drop-in area for non-residents who can utilize St. Lucy’s services for showers, meals, and laundry.
The St. Lucy’s Public Benefit Project and related St. Lucy’s Tower development effort has been underway since 2015 and include a series of property exchanges, zoning approvals, and overall planning consent.
Part of the church, rectory, and emergency shelter will become a new 23-story tower with 444 apartments and 600,000 squar feet of commercial space on the ground floor, and a parking garage.
The new shelter and the services they provide will be across the street where Catholic Charities currently administers some public housing.
“With this groundbreaking, we’re building a safe space that will not only provide food and shelter for those in need, but we’re also utilizing St. Lucy’s established success as the foundation to build a brighter, more prosperous future for our neediest residents and families for generations to come,” the mayor continued.
“As we work collectively to eradicate homelessness, the City is committing over $2 million in grant funding to help expand beyond traditional shelter services.”
“The needs and number of the homeless have expanded so we need creative solutions here in Jersey City,” he added.
Council members Joyce Watterman, Mira Prinz-Arey, James Solomon, and Jermaine Robinson all attended the event.
“It was very important for us to get permanent supportive housing as part of this project …“It’s only step one in building enough housing to address our homeless crisis,” said Solomon, noting 15 units of permanent housing will be built as part of the Ward E project.
The costs of building the shelter are being fully funded through Claremont at no cost to taxpayers.
“We know the St. Lucy’s Project is the important first step in reimagining the entire development site, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin seeing this project come to fruition,”explained Claremont Development Partner Maximilian Dorne said.
Westervelt estimated in Jersey City, Catholic Charities provides homeless, health, and food services to 25,000 people.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2022 or early 2023, while the church was built in 1895 and shuttered in 1986.