Former St. Mary Parish will serve homeless

Humility Homes and Services, Inc. (HHSI) will buy the former St. Mary Parish-Davenport property to provide housing opportunities and services to individuals experiencing homelessness. The purchase of the property includes four buildings on 4.5 acres of land. The “generous legacy of a donor to the Congregation of Humility of Mary (CHM) made the purchase possible,” a news release states. Closing on the property takes place Dec. 15.

Lindsay Steele
Members of  the former St. Mary Parish in Davenport gather outside the church during the parish’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2017.

“The CHM leadership determined the wishes of the donor of benefiting the housing program could be fulfilled by transferring the bequest to Humility Homes and Services, Inc. for the purchase of the property,” said Sister Mary Ann Vogel, CHM president.

Named the “Jubilee Campus,” the new HHSI property honors the Sisters of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary who began their work to end homelessness in the Quad-City area more than 30 years ago with the purchase of the first property that housed single mothers and their children.

The former St. Mary Church built in 1867, will now house the Fresh Start Donation Center, a 6,541-square-foot building where participants of HHSI can get everything they need to rebuild their lives and establish their new homes at no cost. The items include clothing, bedding, furniture, household appliances and bathroom and kitchen essentials. This center will be open to people in need from the community and will host the benefit sales familiar to Quad-City residents.

The former rectory will house eight women who have experienced homelessness as part of HHSI’s mission-focused housing program through the rental of affordable, low-barrier, single-room occupancy units. These homes will be ready for move-ins before the end of the year.

The former school will remain open for community gatherings and serving the Hispanic community in the neighborhood. HHSI’s administrative offices will move from 3805 Mississippi Ave. to the former convent located at 519 Fillmore St. on the Jubilee Campus.

“This is a great opportunity to centralize our operations in the community that we serve, reducing barriers and making it accessible for our participants due to the proximity to our emergency shelter and our other housing units,” said Ashley Velez, executive director of HHSI. “Our mission is to end homelessness in the Quad Cities, and more affordable housing is essential to work towards our goal. With this addition, we can expand the offer to the individuals in need,” Velez added.

“The acquisition of the Jubilee Campus is important in many ways for the organization and the community. The offer of housing units, the Fresh Start Center services, a playground and gardening spaces will enhance opportunities for neighborhood building and greater service to the community,” said Lloyd Kilmer, HHSI board chair.

 


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2 thoughts on “Former St. Mary Parish will serve homeless

  1. This makes me happy. My father, Merwin Hart, born in 1906, attended St. Mary’s grade school. He was a classmate of Fathers, Bill O’Connor and Urban Ruhl. My father would be very happy also of St. Mary’s being used to help the homeless. We were members of St. Mary’s Parish when I was young (~1942 – 1947) and I remember well the large painting behind the altar that was of the Assumption, I believe. (I hope it is preserved somewhere.)

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