City, state and foundation leaders gather Oct. 31 at Sarah’s Hope, Mount Street to break ground on an $8.5 million renovation and expansion project for the St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore homeless shelter. From left, Mary Catherine Bunting; Amy Kleine, program director, Basic Human Needs, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; John Schiavone, president and CEO, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore; Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Nancy Hackerman, Hackerman Foundation; Baltimore City Councilman William “Pete” Welch; William Ariano, deputy director, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. (Courtesy St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore)
By Catholic Review staff
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore broke ground Oct. 31 on an $8.5 million renovation and expansion of Sarah’s Hope, Mount Street, a West Baltimore shelter for families who are homeless. The project will increase the shelter’s living and administrative space, as well as the kind of families it can serve.
St. Vincent de Paul has operated the shelter since 2008. The largest family homeless shelter in Baltimore City, it serves about 100 families annually. According to the agency, Sarah’s Hope operates at 100 percent capacity year round, and turns away nearly 250 families each year because it lacks the space to house them.
The project includes a complete renovation of the current facility, a repurposed school, increasing capacity from 75 to 130 people. It also aims to meet federal standards to house families with adolescent sons, intact families and households headed by single men. Currently, Sarah’s Hope serves only women and children.
Families represent about one-third of the homeless population in Baltimore City and nationally, according to St. Vincent de Paul.
“The completion of this project will enable us to make a quantum leap in both the capacity and the quality of the homeless services for families that we are able to provide at Sarah’s Hope,” said John Schiavone, St. Vincent de Paul president and CEO, in an Oct. 31 statement. “Homeless families need, and deserve, a temporary haven that is safe and comfortable, allows them to attain stability, and provides services that will place them on a path to self-sufficiency.”
The project is funded by Baltimore City, the State of Maryland, private foundations and a private donor campaign.
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