Quincy Development Aims To Take ‘Bold’ Approach To Homelessness

Filed Under: More News, Non Profit News

The nonprofit organization Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) is breaking ground on a new development, the Yawkey Housing Resource Center, which reimagines how a community responds to homelessness. Business and community leaders joined FBMS at the future property site Nov. 9 to commemorate the start of a project they say could serve as a national model.

Yawkey Housing Resource Center Rendering
A rendering of the Yawkey Housing Resource Center to be built in Quincy.

The Yawkey Housing Resource Center development, comprised of two new buildings, will be home to a new service-delivery model that adds daytime supports and streamlines services with the goal of ending homelessness on the South Shore and across Southern Massachusetts. The property will include a day center, an emergency shelter, and on-site efficiency apartments.

The new approach would dedicate more staff and resources to homelessness prevention, diversion and rapid re-housing, thus reducing the overall reliance on overnight shelter.

The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded $6 million in capital funding toward construction of the Yawkey Housing Resource Center two-building development.

Last week, FBMS announced the Yawkey Foundation’s gift of $2 million toward the innovative project, which will cost approximately $24 million in total. The property at 39 Broad Street will be called the Yawkey Housing Resource Center, in honor of the Yawkey Foundation’s longtime support of FBMS.

This $2 million commitment from the Yawkey Foundation serves as a lead gift in FBMS’ “A Path Home” campaign to raise $10 million privately toward the project’s capital and programmatic expenses.

The Yawkey Housing Resource Center will be constructed across the street from FBMS’ existing emergency shelter, Father Bill’s Place, which will be knocked down as part of the City of Quincy’s plans to build a new Public Safety Complex. The City of Quincy, in addition to awarding the development $1 million from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund, has signed a 99-year lease with FBMS for use of the site at 39 Broad Street.

The first phase, expected to be completed by the spring of 2023, is a two-story, 16,000 square-foot building will include the following: FBMS program and training spaces; co-located resources including a full, primary-care medical clinic, substance use and mental health services and housing assistance; shelter beds with lockers and showers for guests; a commercial kitchen space and dining area; and administrative offices.

The second phase, expected to break ground in spring of 2022 and be completed by summer of 2023, is a four-story, 20,000-square-foot building comprised of 30 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. FBMS currently operates more than 600 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals, families and veterans across Southern Massachusetts.