Civic Alert : With the help of federal HOME funds from the City of Eugene, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. (SVDP) acquired a former church building at 3350 Willamette Street which will be converted into 15 studio apartments for transitional housing for homeless high school students aged 16-18. The SVDP Youth House will serve this extremely vulnerable population that often faces challenges in finding stable housing. By offering the units as transitional housing, the youth will be able to stay up to 24 months and greatly increase their likelihood of completing high school.
SVDP was contacted in May 2016 by the Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association and the Council of South Eugene Neighborhoods Vulnerable Populations Working Group about the vacant church building for sale. The zoning of the property was residential, and the neighborhood members hoped the church building could be converted into housing.
The location is close to stores, job opportunities, and public transit. Student residents will be able to continue to attend their current high school while living at the facility. Hosea Youth Services will provide on-site property management, case management, and supportive services in partnership with the McKinney-Vento homeless student liaisons at 4J, Bethel, and Springfield school districts.
The City of Eugene provided $640,000 in federal HOME funds for the acquisition of the property, in addition to Systems Development Charge exemptions, and a 20-year Low-Income Rental Housing Property Tax Exemption. The rehabilitation of the building will create common space including a study area, a communal kitchen, an office for a case manager, a computer lab, and a laundry room. SVDP will use bank financing to assist with construction costs and will seek donations, grants, and other financing to reduce loan costs. SVDP and Hosea Youth Services will also raise funds for operations through donations and grants.
For more information, contact Ellen Meyi-Galloway, at 541-682-5532 or Ellen.E.Meyi-Galloway@ci.eugene.or.us or visit http://www.svdp.us/news/article/homeless-youth.