About the Project

The New Vision for the Dorothy Day Center

Located on and around the existing Dorothy Day Center site in downtown Saint Paul, the new vision is a two-building solution that is designed to prevent and end homelessness for those most in need by focusing on two key components which do not exist sufficiently in our region today—more affordable permanent housing and dedicated self sufficiency services that will create true pathways out of poverty and homelessness.

Street view from the west

Phase 1 — Higher Ground Saint Paul — NOW OPEN! This five-story building is providing dignified emergency shelter for 280 women and men and permanent housing with a range of options for 193 people who were formerly homeless.

Key Shelter and Housing Services

  • Medical care for homeless men and women with significant health issues—a room of their own where they can heal under the care of nurses
  • Specialized housing and assistance for women suffering from late stage alcoholism
  • Pay-for-Stay beds that have a minimal fee, which is held in savings for clients and can be used for a first month’s rent or down payment to a landlord

Phase 2 — Saint Paul Opportunity Center and Dorothy Day Residence — Located just across the street from Higher Ground Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Opportunity Center will be an integrated one-stop location, connecting people to vital services to find homes and improve their health, income and well-being. Service delivery will feature partner organizations from the community, including Ramsey County, the Veterans Administration, health care providers and many others. Above the Opportunity Center there will be a range of permanent housing options for 171 people who were formerly homeless.

Key Saint Paul Opportunity Center Services

  • Veterans Resource Hub
  • Physical, Mental and Chemical Health Services
  • Employment Training Programs and Job Search Assistance
  • Housing Search and Placement Services
  • Financial and legal support services
  • Meals, Showers, Laundry and Storage Facilities

A Proven Solution

It is based on the model of the Catholic Charities Higher Ground and Opportunity Center in Minneapolis. Opened in 2012, Higher Ground Minneapolis was awarded the 2012 American Institute of Architects Minnesota Affordable Housing Design Excellence Award. Transforming lives and improving the Minneapolis community, it includes dignified shelter on the main floor and permanent housing on its upper floors. Nearby, the Opportunity Center provides access to employment, health services, veterans’ benefits, and other resources in collaboration with other agencies and not-for-profits. These programs offer pathways out of poverty, serving those most in need, regardless of faith or background.