The new St. Lucy’s Shelter has opened its doors at 612 Grove St. in Jersey City, following a project by Arc Building Partners in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Newark. — Courtesy: ARC
By Joshua Burd
Arc Building Partners has completed a new homeless services center in Jersey City as part of a unique plan that will bring 444 new apartments to the facility’s former site nearby.
The firm, an affiliate of Claremont Development, was among those on hand Wednesday to unveil the 60,000-square-foot St. Lucy’s facility at 612 Grove St., where Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark will provide a range of housing and supportive services. The complex has opened after two years of construction, allowing for an expansion of the historic St. Lucy’s Church homeless shelter that operated across the street.
With the project’s completion, Claremont is a step closer toward building the new 23-story residential tower on the former homeless shelter property. Max Dorne, a partner with the firm, said it expects to start demolition early next year and construction shortly thereafter.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. “That is why we are creating a holistic approach with the new St. Lucy’s campus to provide emergency food and shelter, and we are now taking it a step further with more permanent actions that help break the cycle and set residents on a stable path to becoming productive citizens. Today, we are opening the doors to countless opportunities for residents who need it most. I have no doubt St. Lucy’s will continue its longstanding success as a critical community asset. As we welcome the residents, I want each of them to know they have our full support as they take these first steps towards a renewed future for themselves and their families.”
Arc constructed the new St. Lucy’s campus under an agreement with the city and the Archdiocese of Newark. Features at the expanded facility include:
- 150 beds for homeless individuals
- 14 residential units for individuals living with HIV/AIDS
- Five three-bedroom permanent supportive housing units for families
- 15 permanent affordable housing studio apartments
- A daily drop-in area available to nonresidents needing a meal, shower or laundry
- On-site programs operated by Catholic Charities, which will provide comprehensive case management services to help individuals find permanent housing, employment and assistance with physical and mental health, substance use issues and more
“I am humbled to be a part of this vital effort,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Newark. “Projects like this are essential to help the poor, vulnerable and those most in need. The crucial work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark and this St. Lucy’s Complex are tangible examples of following our Catholic faith’s tenets to respect each person’s life and dignity. Lives will be saved, and hope will be rekindled.”
Located between 15th and 16th streets, the new complex has opened at the former site of St. Jude’s Oasis, a Catholic Charities housing program that has been incorporated into the new site, according to a news release. The operator, meantime, noted that St. Lucy’s has provided 175,273 nights of shelter to 4,275 individuals over the past five years, while helping 221 individuals find employment and 430 individuals find permanent housing during that time.
“At Arc Building Partners, we’re more than just construction professionals,” said Frank L. Ciminelli II, the firm’s CEO and president. “We’re community partners who recognize our responsibility to uplift those who need it most and make a difference in our community, and it’s incredibly rewarding for our team to see this project come to fruition. The St. Lucy’s project represents our unwavering dedication to creating spaces here in New Jersey that foster hope, dignity and an opportunity for a fresh start. We believe everyone deserves a chance to rebuild their lives, and this shelter is a testament to that belief.”