Opening Doors is pleased to announce the launch of a third doorway of hope – Permanent Supportive Housing at the new Francis Apartments located next door to Maria House at 1501 Jackson St. This permanent supportive housing doorway is now an option for the graduates of Maria House and Teresa Shelter through a collaboration with Steeple Square. Apartment tenants are selected by the Opening Doors Program Director.
The former Jackson school was being converted into 12 two- and three-bedroom apartments. Eight of those apartments are reserved for the graduates of our programs. Because these apartments are permanent housing, we will be able to serve families that include men in the household for the first time in the organization’s history. In addition, one of the apartments will be ADA accessible.
In 2000, Opening Doors opened its first door for homeless women and children at Maria House. Because the need was so great, a second doorway was opened in 2006 at Teresa Shelter. At these shelters, women are taught life skills and goal setting to rebuild their lives. According to Michelle Brown, Executive Director, “The challenge is—when a family is ready to move out—there is a severe shortage of affordable housing for them to move into. As a result, Opening Doors is seeing more and more women and families cycle back to the shelters because they don’t have the adequate job skills and the corresponding income to be able to afford market-rate rent. In fact, over the past three years, over one-fourth of the residents were returning guests.”
Opening Doors’ Case Managers provide supportive services to the families that are selected to live in the Steeple Square Apartments. Permanent Supportive Housing is a combination of affordable housing and services intended as a cost effective way to help people live more stable and productive lives.
Click here to see photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony that took place on July 27, 2017.