Social Services

Catholic Charities Dallas opens new permanent supportive housing for homeless seniors

Catholic Charities Dallas held a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for its new St. Jude Center in Dallas on October 10. Notable attendees included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Judge Clay Jenkins, The Most Rev. Edward J. Burns, Denise Schmitt of Federal Home loan Bank, Dave Woodyard of Catholic Charities Dallas and Joe Dingman of Catholic Housing Initiative.

The new St. Jude Center is a permanent supportive housing community for homeless seniors. It will house over 100 of Dallas’ current homeless population. The Center was established through a partnership among Catholic Charities Dallas and Catholic Housing Initiative. In addition to subsidized housing, the Center will provide wrap-around social services for single homeless men and women, ages 55 and older.

“Homelessness is at a critically high level in the Dallas Metroplex, and there is little relief in site as housing costs increase and wages fail to keep pace,” said David B. Woodyard, Presidet and CEO of CCD, in a release. “Our goal with St. Jude Center is to provide a welcoming community that helps restore dignity and self-respect, while fostering independence and self-sufficiency for this vulnerable population.”

CHI Co-Founder and Project Manager-Treasurer, Joe Dingman added that “this takes CHI’s total number of housing units in the DFW region to nearly 1,000 units with a high priority for low income residents. CHI is very proud to have acquired and  renovated the new St. Jude Center and equally proud to have a partner in CCD that is willing and able to provide property management services as well serving as coordinator for all social services provided by the various partner agencies and CCD staff.”

St. Jude Center has adopted the “housing first” approach, which provides permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible. They then provide the supportive services and connections to community-based support that people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness.

Joining CCD and CHI in this collaboration, CitySquare, Metrocare  Services and Veterans Affairs for Supportive Housing (VASH). Each will provide case management and onsite supportive services, as well as resources and referrals to partnering agencies for mental health counseling, housing transition assistance, benefits counseling, and addiction recovery. Rent subsidies will be provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via agreements with the Dallas Housing Authority (DHA), Administrator in our area for H.U.D.

The $6 million cost to purchase and renovate the St. Jude Center (a former retirement apartment complex at the southeast corner of Josey Lane and Forest Lane in North Dallas) was made possible by CHI’s efforts to contract, purchase and then align community funders like the City of Dallas, Dallas County, the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Meadows Foundation, Better Together Fund, Simmons Foundation. In addition CHI invested over $750,000 of their own equity and Marcer Construction donated services and fees in excess of $350,000. Additional private donations from individuals and corporations have helped to bring the total raised to $5.4mm. The first tenants moved into the fully furnished, efficiency suites at the St. Jude Center in late August, with full occupancy expected by Thanksgiving of this year.

In yet another layer of collaboration, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) helped to introduce and connect Ashley and Andy Williams, stars of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Fort Worth to design the library space of St. Jude Center. The Williamses are military veterans and have contributed to the renovation, and Jonathan and Drew Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers have donated furniture from Scott Living for the room.

CCD and its partners continue to seek community support for the finish out and operations of St. Jude Center. Numerous opportunities are available for volunteers who would like to help with move-in, welcoming tenants and guests, and coordinating social and educational activities for the community. In addition, St. Jude continues to seek financial donations to fund the remaining capital costs of renovation, future renovations of currently unrenovated common areas and to provide additional amenities to tenants; operating funds and the like. Named gift opportunities are also available for donors wanting to leave a legacy within the St. Jude Center community.

For more information regarding supporting the St. Jude Center, please contact Kathy O’Neal at 469.801.8133 or or visit


For more than 127 years, Catholic Charities Dallas has helped the poor and most vulnerable in four core mission areas: strengthening families, alleviating hunger, preventing homelessness, and welcoming the stranger. Catholic Charities Dallas serves more than 35,000 individuals each year, regardless of their faith. In addition, more than 4,125 people volunteer more than 40,000 hours each year. Our services provide assistance to families in need throughout the nine counties that make up the Diocese of Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall. For more information, visit


CHI is a community based non-profit who owns and operates 768 apartment units in Coppell, Carrollton, Mesquite, and Dallas and is completing sell through of 14 newly constructed town homes to low income buyers in Oak Cliff. CHI was founded in 1991 by a group of Catholics with a mission to provide quality, affordable family and senior housing. CHI has substantial development and redevelopment experience in addition to  operating and financing knowledge. CHI owns the St. Jude Center project and provides facility and financial oversight including securing housing assistance arrangements with DHA and other. For more information, visit and publishes every week.
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