Father Bill’s to build housing and apartment resource center in Quincy

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QUINCY – Public and private entities have signed on to help support Father Bill and MainSpring’s efforts to build a new housing complex for guest homeless people in Quincy, but uncertainty remains as to exactly when the current shelter will be will be demolished.

John Yazwinski, President and CEO of Father Bill’s, said a project to build a housing resource center in the city is starting to gain momentum. The center is slated for Broad Street to replace its current emergency shelter in Quincy.

“Our supporters are really excited about this,” Yazwinski said. “So far the response has been overwhelming and people are really excited that we’re not just doing the great shelter model.

Father Bill’s current shelter is one of many buildings being demolished to make way for a new police station, a $ 100 million project that got the green light earlier this year.

City councilors approved in December 2019 the purchase of five lots for the police station project, including the current shelter. It also bought 39 Broad St., where a one-story industrial building is located. This building will be demolished to make way for Father Bill’s new project, which has already been approved by town planning and zoning councils.

The plan is for the city to demolish part of the existing building at 39 Broad St. so that construction can begin on the new resource center, and the shelter guests will occupy the remaining part of the building in the meantime.

After: The final $ 120 million approved for the Quincy public safety building

After: State to donate $ 4 million to Father Bill’s new project in Quincy

Plans for Father Bill’s new facility describe two different buildings: one for 25 to 30 functional apartments and one for a multi-purpose shelter and resource center. Both buildings will be across from the current emergency shelter at 38 Broad St.

“We will create a day center for the prevention of homelessness, the rehousing of people and work to create this stability,” he said. “We are bold, looking at the best practices of the past 30 years and really approaching this in a new way.”

Yazwinski said projects are expected to be underway this fall – construction will begin on the resource center first and apartments will follow. He said he was not yet sure when the city would demolish the current shelter.

After: First phase of construction completed at The Abby station in North Quincy

After: Quincy budget approved, councilors protest mayor’s lack of support for equity department

The apartment complex will provide permanent housing to those in need, and the second building, called the Housing Resource Center, will be equipped with a medical clinic, two dormitories, a laundry room, a commercial kitchen, showers. and a private meeting space.

The homeless shelter currently operated by the organization, which measures about 7,000 square feet, can accommodate about 135 people per night on average, Yazwinski said. The new emergency shelter building will be outfitted to only hold around 75 shelter beds, but Yazwinski said the larger space would leave room for more if needed.

Since the plans were announced, the new center has been hailed as a solution to the homeless in the region. Yazwinski said he estimates the new buildings and work on the site will cost $ 20 million, and $ 7.5 million will need to be raised from the public. The rest of the money will come from the state and public resources.

The Quincy Affordable Housing Trust has committed $ 1 million to the project. The Arbella Insurance Foundation also recently awarded $ 600,000 to Father Bill’s, half for the new Quincy facility and the other half for the organization’s efforts to convert a hotel in Brockton into 69 permanent housing units. .

“Father Bill’s & MainSpring has been a beacon of hope on the South Shore,” John Donohue, chairman and chairman of the Arbella Insurance Foundation, said in a statement. “These two initiatives will have a direct, positive and significant impact on the local community. We are grateful for the opportunity to support FBMS in its mission to make the world a fairer place by ending homelessness.

The Quincy Affordable Housing Trust committed $ 1 million to the project, and in March Governor Charlie Baker was in Quincy to announce $ 4 million for the housing resource center.

Recently, the State Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Health announced that Father Bill’s and MainSpring will receive up to $ 176,076 per year for its regional services in Brockton, Quincy and Plymouth. Father Bill was one of 36 recipients of state grants to earn money to spend in work that provides housing stability and support that reduces the risk of relapse, increases independent living skills, and supports recovery from addiction.

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Contact Mary Whitfill at mwhitfill@patriotledger.com.


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