Officials and dignitaries gathered this morning to cut the ribbon on the St. Lucy’s Complex, a new 60,000 square foot facility providing housing and supportive services for the homeless.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, joined partners Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Arc Building Partners, Claremont Development, Mayor Fulop, City Council members, and Jersey City residents for the opening.

“I am humbled to be a part of this vital effort,” said Cardinal Tobin. “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.”

The new St. Lucy’s facility includes 150 beds for homeless individuals, 14 residential units of transitional housing for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, five 3-bedroom permanent supportive housing units for families and 15 permanent affordable housing studios. In addition, St. Lucy’s now has a daily drop-in area, available to nonresidents needing a meal, shower, or laundry.

Catholic Charities will provide comprehensive case management services to help individuals find permanent housing, employment, and assistance with physical/mental health, substance use issues, and more.

Construction of the facility took two years. Located between 15th and 16th Streets, the new complex is the former site of St. Jude’s Oasis, a Catholic Charities housing program that has been incorporated into the new site. Previously, Catholic Charities provided housing services in its church across the street from the new facility.

Over the past five years, St. Lucy’s has provided 175,273 nights of shelter to 4,275 individuals. In that same time period, the facility has helped 221 individuals find employment and 430 individuals find permanent housing.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness. 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,” said Fulop.

Toni B., former client at St. Lucy’s, said “When I became homeless, my experience at St. Lucy’s was terrific: staff were helpful and nonjudgmental, and they connected me to housing vouchers, medical care, and employment assistance. At the hardest time in my life, I felt loved and supported…Now that I am stable, I volunteer at St. Lucy’s so I can help others on their journey.”

The team at Arc Building Partners is collecting items for the residents as they transition into this important new facility and is asking the community to join them in this effort.  Items needed include toiletries and basic household necessities. Donations are accepted 24/7 at the St. Lucy’s Complex at 612 Grove Street. Residents can learn more about St. Lucy’s and how to help by going here.