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Society of St. Vincent de Paul Breaks Ground On 100-Bed Transitional Housing Facility For Unhoused Seniors

By on May 4, 2023 0 62Views

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its next temporary housing facility, Ozanam Manor II, which will offer 100 beds for unhoused seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities on the nonprofit’s main campus at 2120 S. 3rd Drive.

Lewis “Skip” Lake, a Marine Corps veteran who fought in Vietnam and earned a bronze star, shared his story of overcoming homelessness with the help of SVdP and the transitional housing support he found in the original Ozanam Manor.

“Ozanam Manor gave me my life back,” said Skip, who now lives in a 55+ community in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

“I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for St. Vincent de Paul. Thank you,” he said fighting back tears.

The crowd of more than 150 stood in applause to thank Skip for his service and courage in opening up about the trials and rebound he’s made in his life.

City, county, and state officials gather with SVdP’s Shannon Clancy to mark the momentous day. The combined funding from all three government entities helps make the new building possible along with private donations.

The groundbreaking ceremony came ahead of construction expected to start later this summer.

The new 50,000-square-foot building will first expand on the success of the nonprofit’s existing transitional housing program for seniors, Ozanam Manor, while also bringing added services with a new companion animal clinic and dedicated space for workforce readiness programming.

The first Ozanam Manor currently provides 60 beds on SVdP’s main campus and boasts a high success rate with 95% of graduated residents remaining housed and not returning to homelessness services six months after moving out.

“This is our moment to do our part to help some of our most vulnerable neighbors during a critical time by expanding on a model of transitional housing with proven success,” said Shannon Clancy, SVdP’s Rob & Melani Walton Endowed CEO. “Our unhoused seniors, veterans, and neighbors with disabilities deserve greater access to a housing program as dignified and loving as Ozanam Manor — a place to help them find a home, and a support system with wraparound care that ensures their long-term housing success.”

The new addition is a $20-million project made possible by city, county and state funding as well as private donations. It comes at a time as the city responds to an increase in homelessness and looks to invest in and increase temporary housing across the Valley.

“We are immensely grateful to partner with St. Vincent de Paul on the important mission of getting folks into safe shelter and ultimately stable housing,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. “SVdP’s ongoing work and commitment to improving the lives of our community’s most vulnerable has made a measurable, sizable impact in Phoenix, and I am proud to welcome this new, collaborative investment that will have additional wraparound services for residents in need.”

Ryan Companies will serve as the general contractor for Ozanam Manor II, a continuation of their partnership with SVdP after serving as the original general contractor for the nonprofit’s first Ozanam Manor.

“We’re honored to continue our partnership with SVdP to provide housing for our fellow neighbors in need. At Ryan, we create places for people to thrive,” said Chuck Carefoot, Southwest region president at Ryan Companies. “Our team always considers the impact buildings have on people and communities, and we know that Ozanam Manor II will provide much-needed resources for its residents.”

The new transitional housing building comes during SVdP’s Housing 2025 initiative to permanently rehouse 2,025 individuals experiencing homelessness by the year 2025. Since the start of the goal in October 2022, the nonprofit has achieved permanent housing for 526 individuals through its transitional housing programs, dining rooms and Resource Center.