Catholic Charities Higher Ground St. Paul
Project Location: 435 Dorothy Day Place, St. Paul, MN 55102
Nominated by: Braun Intertec on behalf of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Beginning in 2013, Mayor Chris Coleman convened a community task force to help create a new vision for overnight and emergency shelter in St. Paul. The Catholic Charities Higher Ground St. Paul project was initiated by the task force, and the community came together in an historic public private partnership to reimagine how to serve those most in need in the community. Catholic Charities convened several public gatherings with key stakeholders to help inform the project as it developed.

The site of Catholic Charities Higher Ground St. Paul was originally developed for residential use in 1885 with single-family dwellings and duplexes. Between 1903 and the 1950s, the property was developed with a fire engine house, a two-story garage, an automotive service garage, and several residential buildings. When Catholic Charities purchased the property in 2014, an office building occupied the property.  Remediation efforts addressed contaminants including PAHs, arsenic, lead, mercury, diesel range organics, and asbestos.  During soil excavation on site, previously unknown asbestos and other hazardous materials were uncovered.  The documentation, removal, and disposal resulted in added time and expense to the project.

Higher Ground Saint Paul fills a unique need in the community. It offers dignified shelter and permanent homes to nearly 500 of our most vulnerable neighbors each day. Those that seek refuge in emergency shelter and that now have a home of their own are often individuals with complex needs including mental health issues, substance abuse issues and medical needs.  This project is the first phase in a new vision to offer not only dignified shelter and permanent homes, but also critical services and support for vulnerable populations – creating pathways out of poverty and homelessness towards hope.

Project Financing

  • $4,500,000 Private Capital/Equity
  • $2,300,000 Loans
  • $23,370,000 State Housing Infrastructure Bonds, General Obligation Bonds, DEED
  • $8,700,000 Low Income Housing Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, Federal Home Loan Bank

Project Partners

  • Catholic Charities
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
  • City of Saint Paul
  • State of Minnesota
  • US Bank
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Cermak Rhoades Architects
  • Braun Intertec
  • Watson-Forsberg
  • Load-Bearing
  • Mattson Macdonald Young
  • Coen + Partners
  • Emanuelson-Podas, Inc.
  • Pierce Pini & Associates