St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County is a step closer to buying a former church in south Eugene so it can be converted to a house for homeless youth.
The City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a request by St. Vincent de Paul for $625,000 in federal funds so it can buy the former Cascade Presbyterian Church near 33rd Avenue and Willamette Street.
St. Vincent de Paul plans to buy the property by Dec. 15 and renovate it next year to shelter 14 homeless youths who are from the Eugene and Bethel school districts, plus one staff person.
“We’re gratified by the city of Eugene’s support for our proposal,” St. Vincent de Paul spokesman Paul Neville said on Tuesday. “We’re also gratified by the community’s support of this project. Everywhere I go, people are incredibly enthusiastic and supportive of the idea of providing secure housing and social services for 16- to 18-year-old homeless high school students, who in many ways are our most vulnerable citizens.”
The funding request will advance to its final step of approval Thursday before the Eugene-Springfield HOME Consortium, which includes officials from the cities of Eugene and Springfield.
The consortium receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help subsidize housing for low-income residents.
St. Vincent is expected to begin a fundraising campaign soon to support the renovation and help maintain operations.
The renovation is estimated to cost nearly $1 million, Neville said.
The work could start early next year. St. Vincent de Paul hopes to open the home in October 2017, he said.