The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Jesuitical, and heard this story about the Archdiocese of New York tackling homelessness. Since the Archdiocese already owned the land, they re-purposed it as affordable housing for those in need.
Two of the parishes I’ve been working with to create Parish Vision Plans with are recently merged churches with Church sites that were in the process of being sold. In diocese where mergers and closings are more common, I love hearing about a re-purposing of that land. Of course this project from the Archdiocese of New York required funding to build, to staff, and to run the daily operations of.
St. Augustine Terrace contains 112 units of affordable housing, including 77 units for families. The other 35 studio units have been designated for people with chronic mental illness. Residents will receive on-site services from Catholic Charities’ Beacon of Hope House, which provides programming for people with mental illnesses.
Although the Archdiocese of New York owns the land of the building and services are administered by Catholic Charities NY, residents are not required to be of any particular faith.
What an interesting way to re-purpose the land and do something different! This is probably not something your parish is able to do, but as we think about the land the diocese owns and contribute to the future direction of our dioceses and the ways we, as Catholics, serve those in need in our communities.