Dominium Offers a Helping Hand

In the Community

Residents began moving into the second phase of the Dorothy Day Place in St. Paul, Minn., at the end of September. Owned and operated by Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the new development includes 177 units of permanent supportive housing as well as a 69,000-square-foot Opportunity Center that will provide more than 225,000 meals a year plus health and dental care, job training, and other critical services for those experiencing poverty.

Combined with an earlier first phase that’s across the street, the campus provides 370 permanent supportive homes and 356 emergency shelter and medical respite beds.

“It’s the largest public-private partnership involving housing and services in Minnesota state history,” says Tim Marx, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a key provider of services for people who are homeless and other vulnerable residents in the region.

Recognizing the considerable scale and complexity of the $75 million second phase, the nonprofit and its partners knew the project needed an experienced developer and reached out to Dominium, a Minnesota-based for-profit company that’s one of the nation’s largest developers and owners of affordable housing.

Paul Sween, managing partner at Dominium, not only agreed that his company would develop the project for Catholic Charities but it would do it for free. It turned out to be an invaluable gift.

"We instinctively said 'yes' to helping with the [Dorothy Day Place] project when our partner U.S. Bank asked us to do so simply because we knew how important it was to them," Sween says. "We know the great work of Catholic Charities and how critical the transformation of the property would be to their mission. What we didn’t know is how transformational the work would be for us. We discovered what an honor it is to share the years of experience we have in developing affordable housing that works. It refocused us; we now devote 10% of our development time to pro bono projects. We love seeing how this work changes lives."

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