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Antonio Kelly looked at the sunny new rooms that would soon want to blow up with hairdressers, mental health counselors and job trainers, all in the same building as his new apartment.

"It's great," said Kelly, 42, who has been homeless for three years and moved to her home in Dorothy Day Residence last month. "I have a place to put my head."

Construction crews are now finishing work on the second and last building of the second and last building of the new Dorothy Day Place College in downtown St. Paul, before St. Paul and Minneapolis Catholic Charities officially opens next week. Almost 100 residents have moved to a six-story building that has 177 affordable apartments and a new resource center that will be a one-stop shop for career training, a dental clinic, a hair salon and other services.

"It's a reality for them and a dream come true for us," says Tim Marx, CEO of Catholic Charity. "We have a severe crisis in affordable housing."

The $ 100 million project, the largest public-private partnership in the history of Minnesota, is the latest addition to the Twin Cities to address the shortage of affordable housing.

The highest land of St. Paul, which is: opened in 2017 across the street and with 356 emergency shelter beds and 193 permanent housing units, is in a capacity. By the end of the year, Marx said, the new Dorothy Day Residence will also have a waiting list.

On Wednesday, several people posted blankets and luggage across the Supreme Peak as they waited for a bed. Buildings near the Xcel Energy Center are not far from where it is homeless navigation appeared last year.

"Three years ago we would not have foreseen it," Marx said of the need to grow shelters and apartments. "That's obviously not enough."

In the Twin Cities, low vacancy rates, high rentals and affordable housing make low-income people leave. struggling to find a home. Homelessness has hit a record high of 10% since 2015, reaching 10,233 people report: was released earlier this year by Wilder Research. As the number of homeless families declines, the number of homeless adults aged 25 to 54 has increased by 20%. The largest growing demographic index. 55 years and older.

"The challenge we face is more in need than we anticipated," Marx said.

Dorothy Day Residence, built on the site of a former emergency shelter collapsed 2017 and Higher Ground St. Paul's are the biggest structures they could build on the site, Marx said. This is a huge improvement over the situation before. A crowded emergency shelter with a sleeping room for 250 people and neighboring Mary Hall – 75 permanent units.

The two buildings now offer more "decent" options: beds with emergency beds for 356 people and permanent housing for 370 people, green areas with gardens and trees, numerous windows for natural light and even rooms for health and wellness.

Marx noted that greater efforts are needed to increase accessibility and affordability of housing, prevent eviction, and invest in workforce training and mental health services.

"The economy has grown significantly and improved, but it has not grown and improved for everyone, particularly for low wage earners or for those who are very poor, while housing prices have gone up," Marx said. "And we need to have strategies to address that mismatch."

Subway Council projects will require an additional 39,700 affordable housing units from 2021 to 2030.

Other nonprofits are trying to respond. Recently Confederate Communities in St Paul have closed on four new properties Stonehouse Square Apartments north-east, Minneapolis, to Eden Prairie, Shakopan and Hastings buildings, which will add 121 available units and retain 101 available apartments. Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative in Minneapolis's Northern Hub has built a new apartment for formerly incarcerated men.

Catholic charities also sharpen his attention, declaring Last year, the organization suspended refugee resettlement and adoption programs and delved deeper into its other activities, including programs to help homeless and at-risk children.

Fifteen of the units at Dorothy Day Residence are dedicated to veterans and 11 to homeless youth ages 18-24.

The building includes a free meal, laundry and a resource center called the Richard M. Hall. Schulze Family Foundation St Paul's Opportunity Center. There will be employees from the Ramsey area and about a dozen organizations. It was modeled after the highest land of Catholic charities in Minneapolis that opened in 2012.

The university is funded by a $ 40 million in fundraising – "Richard M. The $ 5 million from the Schulze Family Foundation, the charitable base of Best Buy founder, was the largest donation and $ 60 million from the state from Ramsey County, St. Paul City, the Met Council and federal tax credits for capital funding.

"Every Minotota deserves a safe house to call home," says Governor Tim Waltz. "Dorothy Day Place is a prime example of innovation and compassion that is unique to Minnesota, and this new college will boost its efforts to combat homelessness in our states."

Kelly said that before jumping in to help Catholic charities, she jumped from bed to bed. Now she's just grateful for her own room and help to get her up.

"I couldn't stop smiling," she said as she moved to her new apartment. "It doesn't keep you from the cold."

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