New transitional housing facility set to open for single women

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor

On Jan. 4, a woman will walk through the doors of Emily’s Place, a transitional home for single women in St. Cloud, and for the first time, call it home.

Emily’s Place will be the second transitional housing facility Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud operates for women. Catholic Charities Domus Transitional Housing opened in the 1980s for homeless women with children.

The house is named after St. Emily — the patron saint of single women — and will follow a model similar to Domus. It is intended for single women in the St. Cloud area who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.Print

“The needs of single women might be different than those of women with children,” said Lana Faber, Catholic Charities’ manager of adult transitional housing. “This will be an opportunity for us to find out what those needs are and what the barriers are to helping them find permanency in regard to employment, education and housing.”

Women will live in a shared living community with other women and will be required to pay rent, save for the future and meet with staff regularly to develop long-term stability goals.

“Women who are in this program have to want to be held accountable,” she said. “The willingness to partner with us is key.”

The ultimate expectation will be finding permanent housing in one year. However, all women living at the home must also be alcohol and chemical free. Each woman must volunteer monthly.

“Volunteering is such a beautiful thing,” Faber said, “because you always think you’re giving but you are also always receiving. It really builds a sense of community and that’s important.”

Prior to opening, Catholic Charities invited the public to help ready the facility by hosting a “Virtual Housewarming” on their website. A local accounting firm volunteered to do the cleaning and paint one of the bedrooms.

“The community was so generous,” Faber said. “I am so thankful for all the donations. We’re excited to give a group of women a fresh start in 2016.”