A ‘new’ home

| February 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Dorothy Day Center expands to building next door

The economy and the recent below-zero temperatures have pushed the Dorothy Day Center, a homeless shelter in downtown St. Paul, over capacity.

The shelter served more than 200 homeless nightly during one week in January, according to Gerry Lauer, senior program director at the center. Being over capacity prompted the center to open a temporary  “satellite location”  for the first time Jan. 24 in a former Catholic Charities office building next door.

A group of  men, mostly clients who also volunteer at the shelter, were asked to try out the new space, which  is outfitted with 18 hospital bed mattresses that were donated to the center. “Its nice and quiet here,” said Mike Calteaux. “It’s sad that there’s an overflow in the shelter system, but for us right now, we’re benefiting.”

The expansion will help with the overflow during the winter months. But because of the high costs that would be involved in renovation and other issues, the building’s future is uncertain. “The overflow shelter is testament to the fact that we have failed to address the lack of affordable housing, living wage jobs and funding for social services,” Lauer said.

Photos by Dianne Towalski/The Catholic Spirit

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Category: Local News