Families experiencing homelessness begin moving into Interfaith Action’s Project Home at the Provincial House on March 15, 2021, following the City of Saint Paul’s Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of a conditional use permit for the emergency shelter.
Interfaith Action is leasing the Provincial House, located at 1880 Randolph Avenue, from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The building served as offices and a residence for the Sisters for nearly 100 years and has been underutilized since 2010. The shelter will house approximately 20 families with minor children, almost all under the age of 12. Ramsey County is providing funding for the shelter.
Project Home at the Provincial House is helping address the housing and shelter crisis in Ramsey County due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn. The County, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and Interfaith Action have been working together for several months, involving faith communities and neighbors in the conversation to use the Provincial House as a shelter for families. Two town hall meetings attracted nearly 500 neighbors who offered overwhelming support.
“We are so grateful to Ramsey County for funding and to the Sisters for their partnership and commitment to helping families in our community,” said Randi Roth, executive director of Interfaith Action. “The Sisters are living out their faith in a very important way for families experiencing homelessness.”
Sara Liegl, director of Project Home, said the neighborhood has embraced the new shelter. “Dozens of people wrote letters of support for this project, and so many have sent donations or offered to volunteer,” she said. “We are fortunate to have neighbors who have said ‘yes’ so loudly and clearly.”
Project Home has provided shelter and supportive services for families experiencing homelessness for more than 23 years at area synagogues and churches, including many in the Highland Park and Mac Groveland neighborhoods. Project Home at the Provincial House, combined with the shelters at synagogues and churches (which will re-open post-Covid), has a significant impact on eliminating the waiting list for families seeking shelter.
Interfaith Action’s rapid exit support team will be on site at the Provincial House to help families find permanent, affordable housing and connect them to employment and educational opportunities.