Homeless services nonprofit buys new shelter location, plans expansion

By Diana Barr
Associate Editor, St. Louis Business Journal

Originally Published in the St. Louis Business Journal. Continue reading or visit bizjournals.com.

After a multiyear search, Peter & Paul Community Services, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services to people who are homeless, has acquired a new shelter location where it plans to expand.

The organization said Thursday that it closed April 15 on the purchase of 3225 N. Florissant at Palm Street, in the city’s St. Louis Place neighborhood. The 4.5-acre site was the Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home complex, until 2018.

PPCS purchased the property for $3 million using competitively awarded American Rescue Plan Act funds from the city and state, the nonprofit said in a press release. The complex was purchased from JPAM Management and Consulting Inc., a skilled nursing home business owned by John Brencick, who acquired it from the religious order, officials told the Business Journal.

The site now will be known as the Peter & Paul Community Campus, the nonprofit said. The complex’s 188,000-square-foot facility includes an eight-story tower, a commercial kitchen and dining room; a 15-unit apartment building; a 26-room convent; a large chapel; multiple secured parking lots; and private green space, according to the release.

PPCS plans to spend $20 million on the site, including the purchase and planned renovations in phases, with final construction expected in 2026 or early 2027, officials said. The nonprofit has a capital campaign in progress.

“This purchase means more than doubling our service footprint over the next few years from helping 116 people each night to more than 300,” PPCS board Chair Mike Banahan said in the release. “We have an incredibly strong leadership team who have successfully managed this degree of growth at other agencies. We believe that we will be a sustainable model of top-quality, compassionate services that will make a world of difference for our St. Louis community.”

“The site will easily become the largest homeless services space in St. Louis as we expand to full capacity,” PPCS CEO Anthony D’Agostino said in a statement.

PPCS has been working for about three years to relocate and expand its 60-bed Soulard shelter for men who are homeless, currently at 711 Allen Ave. in the basement of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, but met opposition from neighboring property owners at several locations.

Most recently, a city review board in early February had approved the nonprofit’s plan, with some conditions, to build out a 100-bed shelter in a building in an industrial area in the Kosciusko neighborhood, east of Soulard, but there was still opposition to the plan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Then PPCS’ board voted in late February to buy the North Florissant campus, according to its spring newsletter.

In early 2020, the city of St. Louis had leased the shuttered Little Sisters of the Poor property to provide additional housing for homeless people during the pandemic.

Under Brencick, its most recent owner, the 3225 N. Florissant property has housed various homeless services, the PPCS spokeswoman said. Currently, Magdala House operates a 100-bed emergency shelter at the property under a city contract that ends in December, she said.

PPCS will essentially act as new landlord and property manager for Magdala, the spokeswoman said, as PPCS relocates the agency’s 60-bed Soulard men’s shelter to the North Florissant facility and expands it by 40 beds by the end of this year.

Other PPCS programs also could be relocated to the new site, according to the release.

“We are also exploring partnerships with other nonprofits who would be interested in co-locating services,” D’Agostino said in a statement.

In preparation for the move and expansion, PPCS hired Amanda Laumeyer, formerly CEO of homeless services provider St. Patrick Center, as its chief operating officer, effective April 1.

PPCS has its corporate office at 2612 Wyoming St. in the Benton Park West neighborhood, where it also operates Garfield Place Apartments, a supportive housing program for people who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. PPCS’ other programs include the Labre Center, providing housing and services to people living with severe and persistent mental illness; and Positive Directions, a transitional housing program for homeless people living with HIV, mental illness and/or substance abuse; and Community CollabARTive, an arts-based community development collective.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, Peter & Paul Community Services reported over $3.9 million in total revenue and nearly $3.8 million in total expenses, according to its most recent IRS filing.