St. Lucy’s Complex, a brand-new 60,000-square-foot facility that will provide a continuum of housing and supportive services for the homeless in Jersey City, celebrated its opening with a ribbon-cutting.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, joined partners Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Arc Building Partners, Claremont Development, city council members and Jersey City residents for the official opening Wednesday.
The Grove Street facility opened after two years of construction to build multiple affordable housing solutions along with emergency shelter, transitional housing and comprehensive supportive services.
Previously, Catholic Charities provided housing services across the street from this location. This building will allow for an expansion of housing options to help the community.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness. That is why we are creating a holistic approach with the new St. Lucy’s campus to provide emergency food and shelter, and we are now taking it a step further with more permanent actions that help break the cycle and set residents on a stable path to becoming productive citizens,” Fulop said. “Today, we are opening the doors to countless opportunities for residents who need it most. I have no doubt St. Lucy’s will continue its longstanding success as a critical community asset. As we welcome the residents, I want each of them to know they have our full support as they take these first steps towards a renewed future for themselves and their families.”
The newly expanded St. Lucy’s campus features:
- Shelter space: 150 beds for individuals who are homeless;
- Transitional housing: 14 residential units for individuals living with HIV/AIDS;
- Permanent family housing: Five 3-bedroom permanent supportive housing units for families;
- Permanent studio apartments: 15 permanent affordable housing studio apartments;
- Daily drop-in area: Available to nonresidents needing a meal, shower or laundry; and
- On-site programs: Catholic Charities will provide comprehensive case management services to help individuals find permanent housing, employment and assistance with physical/mental health, substance use issues and more.
“I am humbled to be a part of this vital effort,” Tobin said. “Projects like this are essential to help the poor, vulnerable and those most in need. The crucial work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark and this St. Lucy’s Complex are tangible examples of following our Catholic faith’s tenets to respect each person’s life and dignity. Lives will be saved, and hope will be rekindled.”
As a long-established 24/7 emergency shelter, St. Lucy’s devotion to helping the homeless serves as the foundation of this expansion to provide Jersey City’s neediest residents and families with a more promising future. Located between 15th and 16th streets, the new complex is the former site of St. Jude’s Oasis, a Catholic Charities housing program that has been incorporated into the new site.
“Since Christmas Eve in 1986, Catholic Charities has welcomed people into St. Lucy’s, offering a comfortable bed, a warm meal and a helping hand. Today, we are proud to expand our services at this new location, which will enable us to serve even more people in need,” John Westervelt, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, said. “As always, each person who enters our doors will be treated with dignity and respect. We will provide each client with a multitude of services to help them become more independent and work towards self-sufficiency. We are excited to get to work.”
“The creation and preservation of affordable housing and assisting the homeless population are top priorities at HUD, and St. Lucy’s Complex is an example of what is possible,” Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Housing and Urban Development regional administrator for New Jersey, said. “HUD will always support valuable partners like Catholic Charities and local homeless services providers that move us forward in our goal of housing New Jersey families in need.”
To learn more about St. Lucy’s and how to help, go to ccannj.org/housing-and-food/.