New Rental Community for Working Families Underway in North Oak Cliff

Public-Private Partnership Behind Development of New Mixed-Income Housing

DALLAS – November 9, 2021 – There is a light on the horizon for working-class families seeking high-quality, affordable housing as a new development gets underway in north Oak Cliff, thanks to an innovative public-private partnership. 

On November 9th, local elected officials, key stakeholders, and project partners will gather for a ceremonial groundbreaking to kick off Gateway Oak Cliff, a 230-unit, mixed-income rental community located at the intersection of South Beckley Avenue and East 12th Street. The project, which features efficiency, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, will include 184 units of affordable housing and 46 units offered at market rate. Affordable housing is targeted to individuals and families who earn 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is $37,380 for a single person or $53,400 for a family of four. 


The urban-style community will offer residents modern, clean, and stylish interiors, along with highly competitive amenities, such as a pool and courtyard with outdoor seating; a playground; and a parking structure. Its prime location is minutes away from the Dallas Zoo and the new deck park under construction to the east, from the popular Jefferson Boulevard corridor and Bishop Arts district to the west, and from Dallas’ Central Business District. 

The 3-acre site in north Oak Cliff is owned by Dallas County, which earlier this year agreed to lease – rather than sell – the land for development to project partner, Catholic Housing Initiative. CHI is a community-based non-profit that owns and operates 1,100 apartment units in Coppell, Carrollton, Mesquite, and Dallas, including two St. Jude Center communities for the homeless. CHI is also building homes for the first-time homebuyer in the Five Mile Neighborhood.

“The displacement of long-established families due to increasingly high rents and aggressive redevelopment is a continuing problem,” said Sister Mary Anne Owens, SSND, President of Catholic Housing Initiative. “Gateway Oak Cliff is an innovative solution that leverages public resources and private-sector expertise to create quality housing for families, many of whom continue to struggle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.”

The project represents $47 million in new direct investment, mostly with local suppliers and contractors. The general contract will have at least 32 percent minority participation. 

“This is a win-win for Oak Cliff and for Dallas County,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Finding high-quality solutions to our housing challenges requires innovative thinking and collaboration. We are proud to partner with Catholic Housing Initiative to ensure there is equitable development in play to meet the needs and the budgets of hard-working individuals and families with children.”

The Gateway Oak Cliff development team includes St. Margaret Inc. and Carleton Development (developers); Treymore Construction (contractor); Carleton Management Services (property manager); Citigroup (lender); and National Equity Fund (syndicator). Leasing is anticipated to begin in Spring 2023, with construction completed in Summer 2023. 

“Gateway Oak Cliff is not only a brand-new housing development in a prime location in a high-opportunity pocket of Dallas, but it also has the potential to stimulate other investments in the neighborhood,” said Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Chad West. “This will create additional economic opportunities for residents and small businesses.”

The project partners will host a ceremonial groundbreaking, open to the public, on Tuesday, November 9, at 1:30 p.m., at the project site (400 S. Beckley Avenue). Scheduled to attend and speak at the event are Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Chad West; Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia; Printice Gary, Managing Director & CEO of Carleton Companies; Sister Mary Anne Owens, SSND, president of Catholic Housing Initiative; and Joe Dingman, co-founder and treasurer for Catholic Housing Initiative. 


Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI) and Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD) Step Up with More Housing for Homeless in Dallas

Agencies hosting ribbon-cutting at new facility October 6th - 4:30 PM.

DALLAS – October 4, 2021 – Working to reduce the homeless population in Dallas, the Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI), partnering with Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD), will officially open the new St. Jude Center – Park Central (SJC-PC) this Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Supported and largely made possible by significant grants from Dallas County and the City of Dallas, the facility, located at Coit Road and LBJ Freeway, will provide over 180 efficiency apartments with wraparound services for those experiencing homelessness.

The new center is the second such housing facility created by the two agencies.  St. Jude Center – Forest Lane opened in October 2018 with 104 units and provides housing and onsite case management for formerly homeless seniors.

Phase I of SJC-PC initially opened in December 2019, creating immediate space to isolate COVID-positive individuals otherwise homeless. CHI is the project’s owner /developer, and CCD is the property manager, social-services provider, and lead coordinator for all partner agencies providing onsite services.  Joining CCD and CHI in this collaboration are CitySquare, Salvation Army, Metrocare Services, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Austin Street Center, The Bridge, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, and the Dallas Police Department.


All residents will have easy access to intensive case management, mental health counseling, housing transition assistance, benefits counseling, addiction recovery, and more. As with the original St. Jude Center, residents will enjoy a robust offering of community services, including vocational training, continuing education, exercise classes, and social activities designed to create a warm, respectful, dignified, and welcoming community for all. 


Dave Woodyard, CCD President and CEO, says the two centers reflect Catholic Charities’ mission of addressing the root causes of poverty, hunger, and the ever-growing issue of homelessness in North Texas. “Serving the homeless is a significant and growing need in our community, and none of us can do this alone.  We are honored to partner with CHI, the County, the City of Dallas, and our many non-profit friends working tirelessly to address the needs of our community.”

CHI President, Sister Mary Anne Owens, added, “We have worked for over 30 years to provide affordable housing throughout North Texas.  Adding a second St. Jude Center to serve the least of us is truly needed and perfectly aligned with what the Catholic Housing Initiative stands for.”

The two agencies will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Phase II of the project at the new center (8102 LBJ Freeway in Dallas) on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, from 4:30-6:00 p.m.  Program staff and volunteers will offer tours of the new facility; the media and public are welcome.

About Catholic Charities Dallas

Catholic Charities Dallas is a faith-based, social-services agency focused on improving the quality of life for people in need. We are first responders to our community’s most vulnerable, helping those in crisis move toward a better life.  Annually, CCD helps over 275,000 individuals achieve stability and self-sufficiency through senior programs, financial literacy, employment services, education, food programs, immigration legal services, adoption, refugee resettlement, disaster services, and homeless services.  For more information, please visit 

About Catholic Housing Initiative

CHI is a community-based non-profit with a mission of providing quality, affordable housing since 1991.  It owns and operates 1,100 rental units at eight sites, including two St. Jude Centers, in Dallas, Carrollton, Coppell, and Mesquite. It is also building homes for sale to first-time buyers in Southeast Dallas, its second such project.  CHI provides financial and operating oversight of its property management and construction vendors and has substantial development, redevelopment and financing experience. It accepts housing choice vouchers and some of its properties have rental subsidy contracts with DHA or other agencies.  For more information, visit


Catholic Charities of Dallas

Susan Carrillo

Director of Marketing and Communications

T: 469.283.0945


Catholic Housing Initiative

William D. Hall

CEO & Secretary

T: 214.497.9269

wdh@CHIdallas.orgust be a shared effort.


Affordable Housing coming to north Oak Cliff thanks to smart government

Dallas County has agreed to lease land to the Catholic Housing Initiative.

Dallas County government sits on prime real estate in north Oak Cliff. One of its government centers has an address at 400 S. Beckley Ave., between the popular Jefferson Boulevard corridor and Bishop Arts district to the west and the deck park under construction to the east, next to the Dallas Zoo.

As part of a yearslong effort to consolidate government offices, Dallas County will open a new government center on Jefferson Boulevard where residents can pay their tax bills or pick up a marriage license. And instead of selling the 3-acre property on Beckley Avenue, Dallas County is doing something smarter: It has agreed to lease the land to an affordable housing developer that plans to build a mixed-income apartment complex on the site.

The project, known as Gateway Oak Cliff, will have 230 units — 46 rentals leased at market rate and 184 apartments for people making 60% or less of the area median income countywide. For a family of four, 60% of the area median income is $51,700 a year, and for a single person, $36,200.

Aggressive redevelopment in north Oak Cliff has ushered in waves of luxury townhomes and high-end apartments. All this activity in recent years has pumped up property values and stirred concerns about the displacement of working-class families in the predominantly Hispanic area.

“I am really happy and proud that the Commissioners Court took action,” said Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, who represents most of north Oak Cliff. “We talked, and we actually walked the walk and are addressing affordable housing needs.”

Dallas County’s partner in this project is the Catholic Housing Initiative, a nonprofit whose portfolio includes several affordable apartment properties across North Texas for families and seniors and two supportive housing centers in Dallas that provide services to people struggling with homelessness. The county had previously collaborated with the nonprofit and others by kicking in $10 million to acquire a North Dallas hotel and assist homeless people who had been treated for COVID-19.

Gateway Oak Cliff is not a homeless center. Joe Dingman, co-founder and treasurer of the Catholic Housing Initiative, told us the property will offer homes to people working in the lower-paying end of our economy. Think warehouse workers, grocery clerks and school janitors.

Catholic Housing Initiative expects to receive federal tax credits to build the complex, which would start construction this fall. The county won’t manage the property day to day, but as a partner in the project, it’ll receive ground lease payments and share in any money that’s left after the property collects rent and pays its bills and debt, Dingman said.

“This structure uses the best of public resources and the best of the private sector in terms of its skills,” Dingman told us. “The benefit is to the public. The public gets the value of the housing.”

We commend county commissioners and county staff for their creative approach to generating quality affordable rentals in Dallas, and we hope other local governments are watching. Hard-working people in low-paying jobs across North Texas need a decent place to live, so spurring the development of affordable homes must be a shared effort.


Catholic Housing Initiative to open new homeless center at LBJ Freeway and Central Expressway

COVID-19 pandemic spurs public-private partnership with county to help newly homeless.

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the homeless population and put many others at risk of living on the streets, but a new Catholic Charities Dallas initiative aims to help.

Together with the Catholic Housing Initiative, CCD plans to purchase the Gateway Hotel Dallas Park Central, a four-story, 180-unit property at LBJ Freeway, just west of Central Expressway.

The new project, which aims to open in December, comes on the second anniversary of a similar venture started by the two groups: St. Jude Center at Forest provides housing and case management services for chronically homeless seniors.

“The key strategy is you need the housing now for COVID victims,” said Joe Dingman, one of the founders of CHI.

“We’re talking about mainly people who have been treated for COVID in a hospital, who are healed and non-contagious, and who have no place to go as a consequence of the pandemic,” Dingman said.

The $14.75 million estimated cost of the project includes $9.75 million for the acquisition of the former hotel and $5 million in renovations and other costs.

The new project, like the first, involves a public-private partnership, which includes Dallas County government.

County officials have committed $10 million to St. Jude Center – Park Central, with $8 million going towards the property acquisition and $2 million in operational support for the first phase, which is focused on supporting COVID-19 victims.

The county’s participation in the project was explicitly with the condition that the first occupants be COVID-19 victims, Dingman said.

Since the pandemic began, Dallas has seen homeless encampments spread to parks and trails, focusing more attention on Dallas' chronic homelessness problem as well as the need for more permanent housing solutions.

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the lack of low-income housing in Dallas County,” said Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel in a statement.

County commissioners have “tremendous confidence” in the ability of Catholic Charities of Dallas and the Catholic Housing Initiative to get results with the homeless problem due to their success with the original St. Jude Center, Daniel said.

The $6 million St. Jude Center on Forest Lane near Josey Lane opened in northwest Dallas in 2018. Catholic Charities Dallas rehabilitated an old senior-living facility with $2 million in contributions from the city and $1 million from Dallas County. There is a long waiting list for the 104 unit facility, Dingman said.

The new site was selected due to its location along two major highway corridors, its proximity to light-rail and bus lines and its quick access to multiple employment centers.

The goal initially will be to help residents return to independent living, equipped with the tools and resources to be financially stable. Over the long term, the project will provide permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.

Each unit will be fully furnished efficiencies, with kitchens and private bathrooms.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity for the community and fortunately the community is foursquare behind it,” Dingman said.


St Jude Center offers proof we can house our homeless, so why does Dallas make this so hard?

City still seems adrift when it comes to presenting meaningful solutions, instead of reports and studies.

Melvin Canty was born in Los Angeles 66 years ago. Raised “in the projects,” he says — Watts, Compton. “The ghetto.” For a spell, he lived in Arkansas, where he was married, before moving back to California in the mid-1990s to care for a mother stricken with cancer. Then his marriage fell apart, because “my wife and I, we had, you know, conflict.”

He moved to Dallas for a fresh start, but says he “wound up with the wrong people in the wrong places.” In time Canty found himself on the street, seeking refuge at Austin Street Center, Union Gospel Mission, Dallas Life Foundation, the Salvation Army. “I’ve been in every shelter in Dallas,” he said.

Some nights Canty slept alongside 300 men who also had no place else to go and killed daylight hours at downtown’s Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, because at least he could be inside. Canty was among the more than 1,000 men and women in Dallas considered chronically homeless, which means he had been living on the streets for more than a year.

This was until October 2018, when the chaplain at Union Gospel called Canty to his office to tell him he qualified to live in a new housing complex opening on Forest Lane near Josey Lane called St. Jude Center. There, he was told, an aging senior-living facility had been transformed into permanent supportive housing for the homeless. Canty’s caseworker at The Bridge thought he would be a perfect fit for a place meant to shelter men and women 55 and older.

“They found me,” Canty said Tuesday, as we sat in the activity room at St. Jude, where he had just finished shooting pool with 76-year-old Johnnie Taylor, born and raised in the housing projects of West Dallas.

In the courtyard at St. Jude Center residents maintain a garden along a fence line separating the permanent supportive housing facility from a neighborhood filled with single-family homes.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

Outside it was cool and drizzling, heralding the approaching cold front that dropped temperatures below freezing and forced the opening of emergency shelters citywide. Canty and Taylor would sleep that night, as they have for the past year, in their own rooms, where they have a refrigerator, a hot plate and microwave, a flat-screen television, a bathroom stocked with toiletries, a warm bed.

“And when they found me,” Canty said, his voice cracking slightly, “it was nothing but a blessing from God.”

Well, really, from the Catholic Housing Initiative, which spent two years and around $6 million rehabbing a northwest Dallas facility that no one else wanted to buy, because it was zoned for seniors and came with a fortune’s worth of deferred maintenance. But his point is well taken.

In a town absent any meaningful housing for the homeless, where city government fails time and again to deliver anything other than reports and studies telling us what we can see with our eyes and know in our own hearts, St. Jude might as well be a miracle.

I first wrote about this place in August 2018, after Dallas Housing Authority failed to come through with the vouchers it promised would help fill the 104-room facility. The Catholic Housing Initiative instead turned to Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, CitySquare, Metrocare Services and other nonprofits to help cover costs. Dallas City Hall also helped cover the rehab’s tab with $2 million in federal funds; the county kicked in a grant of more than $1 million.

Cindy Montgomery, the property manager at St. Jude Center, tells visitors that residents compare their bedrooms at the complex to rooms at the Four Seasons.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

City officials now like to tout St. Jude as an extraordinary success, proof – see?! — you can put homeless housing in neighborhoods. Three residents have already “graduated,” too, to good jobs and new apartments without the need for caseworkers. Last month, I asked City Manager T.C. Broadnax and staffers working on housing and homeless solutions why they don’t just help fund more places like St. Jude.

I was told, well, it’s not that easy. Because the funding structure is complex. Because zoning is hard. Because residents don’t want these kinds of places and these kinds of people in their backyards.

So, instead, Dallas is sitting on $20 million in bond money aimed at building housing for the homeless. And in the two years since voters approved that money, not a single cent of it has been spent. Instead, there have been only debacles and delays.

Meanwhile, Catholic Housing Initiative is about to close on an abandoned hospital in southwest Oak Cliff. There they expect to have about the same number of rooms — as well as room enough for “volunteer-run businesses, maybe a restaurant, maybe a job-training center,” St. Jude Inc.’s treasurer Joe Dingman said Thursday. “Things we don’t have the space for here.”

Cindy Montgomery, St. Jude Center's property manager, tells Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, that the mailboxes here are as important as any activity room or library.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

Earlier this summer, the Office of Homeless Solutions went to find developers willing to spend all of that money building 100 units on a junk piece of city-owned land in Lake Highlands amid storage units and office mid-rises and DHA apartments. Residents and their council member, Adam McGough, were outraged at the proposal and a perceived lack of community inclusion.

Broadnax killed that proposal in August and vowed a do-over. Buried on the city’s website is a document that says the city quietly went looking one month later for a lowest bidder to “create a community engagement plan,” which Broadnax said is intended to “foster a greater understanding of homelessness and affordable housing in this city.” The city manager called it a “public education effort” when asked about it this week. He said Texas Christian University’s Department of Social Work won the bid.

I found some paperwork this week that says Dallas is paying the Fort Worth university $49,810 to do this work, which is just $190 short of the amount that would have triggered a City Council vote needed to approve the expenditure. The council members I asked about it — including Chad West, chairman of the new housing and homeless committee — knew nothing of the request or the cost of a report that will only further slow down efforts to house the homeless.

“And I am concerned the longer we wait for housing, we’re just going to compound the problem,” said council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, whose district includes St. Jude.

On October 10, 2018, then-Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings toured St. Jude Center with resident Hilton Gray. He said at the time Dallas need 15 more of these. So far there is just the one.

A year ago, Gates was trying to convince worried neighbors that this wasn’t just, you know, a homeless shelter. Today, nearby residents come by to lead yoga classes or prepare holiday meals. “This is an example of what we need all over the city," then-Mayor Mike Rawlings said upon its opening a year ago.

At St. Jude, all the residents have caseworkers. They share meals and celebrate birthdays and holidays together in a communal room where, once a month, In-N-Out Burger serves meals to residents. They use computers in a cozy fireplace-warmed library designed and donated by Ashley and Andy Williams, the former military veterans who star on HGTV’s series.

They attend church services in a chapel with stained-glass windows. They grow vegetables in the community garden out back, along the fence line that separates St. Jude from the residents of single-family homes who have welcomed the formerly homeless as neighbors to be embraced rather than feared. They have washers and dryers, a small gym and mailboxes — some residents, for the first time in years.

“Residents call this their mansion,” property manager Cindy Montgomery said Tuesday. “One person thought he was in the Four Seasons when he got here two weeks ago.”

St. Jude Center had been a senior-living facility until Catholic Housing Initiative took over — and rebuilt — the complex, at the cost of $56,000 per unit, a bargain compared to new-construction costs.(Ashley Landis / Staff Photographer)

We were on a tour with Mark Calabria, whom President Donald Trump tapped earlier this year to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Calabria’s agency oversees the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, which put $500,000 into the project, and he wanted to see how the feds’ dollars were being spent.

“It’s a great project they’re doing here,” Calabria said as we sat in the front lobby. We watched residents come and go through secured doors leading to their rooms and caseworkers’ offices. “It’s great to see the bank involved in this.”

But when City Hall will try again, I cannot say. Broadnax said that once the TCU report is done, staff will prepare yet another request for proposals, this time for a project that has “an emphasis on innovation and joint venture approaches [and] is inclusive of mixed uses and mixed income and compatibility with adjacent and surrounding zoning.” And so we wait. Some more.

Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000 other Melvin Cantys and Johnnie Taylors on the streets, waiting for the housing voters promised them two Novembers ago. The 76-year-old Taylor told me that until he came to St. Jude, he’d been living in an abandoned house in South Dallas with eight other men.

“I feel blessed to have my own place,” he said, before heading upstairs for a late afternoon nap. “Blessed.”

This shouldn’t have to take a miracle.


The Catholic Foundation responds with a grant for a New Roof

Throughout 2018, a significant number of housing and charitable entities combined to create affordable and senior housing in North Dallas. The newly renovated St. Jude Center was developed to provide permanent supportive housing and tools to become self-sufficient for 104 formerly homeless people aged 55 and older.

In the Fall of 2018, as construction was wrapping up and residents were slated to move in to the St. Jude Center, the renovation ran into a complication with the condition of the roofing throughout the property.

As renovations transformed the old facility at 2920 Forest Lane into St. Jude Center, roof replacement was compromised to fund more pressing renovation needs. But further roof complications rendered apartments at the center unsuitable as permanent housing and left St. Jude Inc. in need of funds to address the situation.

The Catholic Foundation responded with a grant to replace part of the roof on St. Jude Center. Grants are made possible by donors who compound their charitable gifts by giving through the Foundation’s Philanthropy Fund or establishing their own funds with the Foundation. Without these donors, the ever-changing physical and spiritual needs of the Catholic community would be
left unmet.

Meeting Ever-Changing Needs
Since 1955, The Catholic Foundation has been dedicated to meeting the ever-changing needs of the community. Today, the Foundation is trusted to steward the philanthropic legacies of so many and to continue meeting those needs of the Catholic community, including St. Jude Inc.

St. Jude Inc.
A special purpose entity of the Catholic Housing Initiative, St. Jude Inc. works toward providing affordable and senior housing. The newly renovated St. Jude Center will provide permanent supportive housing and tools to become self-sufficient for 104 formerly homeless people aged 55 and older in the Dallas area.


Dallas News Commentary highlights St Jude Center's Progress

This insightful commentary from long-time Dallas News Columnist Robert Wilonsky illustrates the temerity of charity, business and government leaders and their collective efforts to renovate and occupy St. Jude Center.

Who will come to the rescue to help house the senior homeless in northwest Dallas? We have names

Robert Wilonsky, City Columnist

From the ever-widening, ever-deepening maw of horrific and heartbreaking news escapes a glimmer of light.

In coming days and weeks, dozens of men and women who would otherwise be sleeping on Dallas streets — on mattresses of concrete, beneath newspaper or cardboard bedsheets — will instead tuck themselves into warm, dry, soft beds of their own. They will be able to cook over hotplates; look for jobs; get mail for the first time in recent memory; or just find a moment's peace. They will do this in northwest Dallas, along Forest Lane near Josey Lane, in a $6-million facility called St. Jude Center, where there are 104 decked-out units for the homeless ages 55 and up.

I reported two weeks ago that about 90 of those rooms would go empty for the foreseeable future because the Dallas Housing Authority cannot currently afford to fill them. DHA leadership says rising rents have stretched thin their federal funds, and that as a result, "regrettably, DHA is temporarily unable to provide Housing Choice Vouchers to St. Jude's."

But a few days ago I got a call from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who said several entities have stepped up to fill the void left by the absence of vouchers. Among them: the county, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, Citysquare, Metrocare Services and anybody and everybody with a spare cent and a spare voucher.

"Everyone is trying," said David Gruber, MDHA's Development and Communications Director. "All these different partners came together, and without all of it coming together, this wouldn't happen. It's important to keep this positive side in mind."


St Jude Center opens with $500k grant from Frost Bank and FHLB

Grant Funded Rehabilitation of $5.9 Million Residential Complex for Homeless Seniors

DALLAS, TEXAS, October 12, 2018 — A 2018 census conducted by Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) found that homelessness is no longer only a central city issue, and it's become more severe. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that the city of Dallas lacked more than 1,000 much-needed housing units for the homeless.

Since St. Jude Center, a 104-unit residential complex for low- and very low-income seniors, age 55 or older, who have experienced homelessness, opened in August, about 10 percent of that shortage has been addressed. The property is already about half full. A $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Frost Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to St. Jude Inc., a member of the Catholic Housing Initiative, benefited the completion of the residential complex.

The building, constructed in 1981 as retirement apartments, was purchased in December 2017 by the Catholic Housing Initiative. The Catholic Housing Initiative works with Catholic Charities of Dallas (CCD), which operates the facility and provides a variety of services to residents.

The property underwent a complete renovation, including upgraded landscaping and parking, new finishes, upgraded in-unit kitchens, and upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

"We applied for this grant in 2017, when we hadn't even closed on this property yet," said Joseph Dingman, treasurer of St. Jude Inc. "The funds came in at just the right time. Without the grant, we would not have been able to do the renovations and improvements to the degree that we have."

St. Jude Center provides housing coupled with case management for residents. A collaborative network including CCD, City Square, Metro Care, Veterans Administration and MDHA identifies the men and women needing housing and guides them to St. Jude Center.


Dallas Mayor, others hail opening of $6m homeless facility

This original story appeared in the Dallas Morning News:


NORTHWEST DALLAS  -- At Wednesday's grand opening of the St. Jude Center, Bobby Holmes stood at the door, resplendent in a black tuxedo. He was home.

The 63-year-old Army vet is one of the first residents at the 104-unit, $6 million facility, which offers permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless and disabled seniors, ages 55 and over.

As the dignitaries rolled in, Holmes shared a smile and his story of five years living on the streets and in abandoned houses. And at the end of a blue ribbon-cutting ceremony, he was treated with a level of celebrity, called into photos opportunities with Dallas Mayor Mike Raw lings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

"I love it here," Holmes said. "They just show you so much love, man. If you need anyone to talk to, whatever, they're there for you.

"It's nice, comfortable, and I love the environment. We look out for one another."

City and county officials called the center, located in northwest Dallas on Forest Lane, the opening salvo in fighting homelessness across Dallas.

"This is an example of what we need all over the city," Rawlings said. "There's no question in my mind that there are 15 other places like this throughout the city. And it doesn't have to be placed in just one neighborhood, because it will make all our neighborhoods better."


CHI's Presentation to Citizen's Homeless Commission

On October 11, Joe Dingman, Treasurer of Catholic Housing Initiative, gave a presentation to the Dallas Citizens Homelessness Commission to discuss the entire development to delivery process for St. Jude's Center.


St. Jude Center Celebrates Grand Opening

Project Reflects Unique Collaboration Among Nonprofit Partners

DALLAS – October 1, 2018 – Over 100 of Dallas’ current homeless population have a new place to call home with the newly opened St. Jude Center, a permanent supportive housing community (PSH) for homeless seniors. Established through a partnership among Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD) & Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI), St. Jude Center provides subsidized housing, case management, and wrap-around social services for homeless men and women, single, ages 55 and older.

“Homelessness is at a critically high level in the Dallas Metroplex, and there is little relief in sight as housing costs increase and wages fail to keep pace,” said David B. Woodyard, President and CEO of CCD. “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 on-site 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 (CCUS) 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.

About Catholic Charities Dallas
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

About CHI
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.


FHLB Dallas & Frost Bank awarded $500k to benefit Dallas Homeless

DALLAS, TEXAS, March 2, 2018 — About 10 percent of Dallas' homeless residents will have a roof over their heads when a new supportive housing complex opens later this year, with the help of a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant.

St. Jude, Inc. received the AHP grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Frost Bank, an FHLB Dallas member institution, for the renovation of a building that formerly served as a retirement apartment complex at the southeast corner of Josey and Forest lanes.

St. Jude, a member of the Catholic Housing Initiative, bought the property and is working with Catholic Charities of Dallas, which will operate the facility and provide a wide variety of social services to its residents. A collaborative network of several social service agencies will help identify the men and women who will become its initial residents.

"The AHP grant bridged the gap between hoping to get this project done and actually being able to get this project done," said Joe Dingman, treasurer of St. Jude, Inc.

The $5.5 million, 104-unit project, scheduled to open in June 2018, obtained additional funding from a variety of sources, including the city of Dallas and Dallas County.

The need for housing is critical, Mr. Dingman said. "We know there are about 1,000 people in the Dallas area who have been identified as homeless and need housing," he said. "They are today living under a bridge or someplace that is societally unacceptable. We'll be able to knock 10 percent off that number within the year."

Mr. Dingman said renovations are expected to begin this month and will include upgraded in-unit kitchens, refreshed finishes, a modernized common area, improvements to the building's mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and improved landscaping and parking.


La Estrella Begins Occupancy in Oak Cliff

LaEstrella, Oak Cliff's new affordable urban townhome address, is reaching completion and now seeing move-ins as more buyers qualify for financing within the income limitations established for potential homeowners.

Developed in cooperation with the City of Dallas, LaEstrella is seen as the place where low income meets high expectations. Built on-time and with budget, the townhomes feature high-grade finishes like granite countertops, vinyl-plank floors, stainless appliances, kitchen islands and two-car garages. One walk-through and you'll see how beautifully finished each floorplan is, and how the room layouts work to maximize the space.

"When we began this project, we started with the premise that we could increase the supply of owner-occupied housing," said CHI Secretary Joe Dingman. "We see that as vital for the future of society and the community because it creates vibrant neighborhoods, a tax base and good housing where owners accumulate equity."

"We think these homes are perfect in all respects, for Dallas as a whole, for Oak Cliff, for the immediate neighbors, and most of all, for the residents.  Catholic Housing Initiative is pleased to sponsor LaEstrella and to accomplish these goals."

The property recently celebrated its grand opening. Hailing the address as a new standard for affordable housing, Catholic Housing Initiative Secretary-Treasurer Joe Dingman and Dallas District 1 Senior Affairs Commissioner Carmen Arana welcomed notables such as Councilman Scott Griggs and Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia  to tour the property and participate in the ribbon cutting.

Developer Marc Birnbaum was also welcomed and spoke to the crowd explaining how LaEstrella was built to higher standards while still reaching completion on time and under budget.

Father Martin Moreno, pastor, St. Cecelia Parish, offered a blessing and welcome message to all attendees, reinforcing the intent to serve all individuals in need.


Assessing Dallas' Affordable Housing Crisis

The combination of strong population and job growth has increased the demand for all types of housing in Dallas since 2010. 

Other economic factors, notably the cost of building new housing, have created a crisis in availability of affordable housing.  Joe Dingman, Treasurer of the Catholic Housing Initiative, recently spoke about this at a meeting of the Preston Hollow Democrats.


CHI supports Bishop's Golf Tournament

CHI is proud to announce it is a sponsor of the Bishop's Invitational Golf Tournament to be played September 18, 2017.

The Tournament raises approximately $500,000 for Diocesan schools which is distributed for tuition on a needs basis.

For more information, see

You may also see the ad which appears in the Tournament program

2017 Bishop's Invitational Golf Tournament from Catholic Diocese of Dallas on Vimeo.


CHI to open St Jude Center in Dallas

One of the members of Catholic Housing Initiative, St. Jude Inc, is planning to open St Jude Center in the fourth quarter of 2018.

St. Jude Center will be 100 apartment units dedicated for supportive housing which is regular apartments paired with services such as counseling.

The project is a collaboration with Catholic Charities-Dallas who will oversee the services.  The objective is to help Dallas resolve its homelessness crisis.