Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Claremont Development, and Arc Building Partners recently announced the commencement of construction on an adaptive-reuse project designed to create an innovative transitional, emergency homeless facility at the 47-63 Miller Street site. The 24,000-square-foot facility will provide 24/7, 365 days a year emergency shelter and supportive services to transition homeless Newark residents into housing. The facility is expected to open in September of this year.
The project is intended to offer various human-centered services and pathways toward permanent housing, income stability, and personal health responsibility. The Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center will be located at the former Miller Street Elementary School structure, where Catholic Charities currently operates and offers an array of emotional, behavioral, and health support services.
“This project is yet another positive milestone in our ongoing community-wide efforts to address and eradicate homelessness and provide critical, low-barrier, transitional support services to the most vulnerable among us,” said Mayor Baraka. “I’d like to thank the many project partners that have made this project a reality and look forward to watching the upcoming construction take shape and service-model realized.”
“The Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center is a great example of public, private, and non-profit collaboration undertaken with the best interests of our residents without addresses in mind,” said City of Newark Homelessness Czar Sakinah Hoyte. “Under the leadership of Mayor Baraka, we will continue to actively address the issue of homelessness and catalyze pathways to individual independence, while pushing forward with our progressive strategy through targeted initiatives.”
The Miller Street Elementary School structure was built in the early-1900s and underwent a series of expansions in the 1950s to substantially expand the building’s overall footprint. The elementary school officially closed in 2012 and was acquired by the development team in 2017. As part of the City of Newark’s focus on homelessness and community health, Claremont Development has worked in conjunction with the City and Catholic Charities for roughly five-years to develop the structure re-use plan.
Expected service offerings at the Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center will include, but are not limited to: transportation, individual counseling and case management, behavioral health services, social services, nutrition services, and a daily “drop in” center for individuals to bathe or shower, do laundry, and have meals prepared for them. As such, a full commercial kitchen for the on-site food preparation will be created, as well as food preparation and service trainings, and meal production for both those in shelter residence and the greater community.
The new facility will comprise a total of 166 transitional beds for men, women, and families, with 84 men’s and a men’s activity room, 44 women’s beds and a women’s activity room, 21 “code blue” beds, and seven individual suites with a total of 17 beds for families, quarantine, and isolation. The daily “drop in” facility will feature the individual bathrooms (showers, bathing, and changing facilities), washers and dryers, and tables, chairs, and televisions.
“It’s really amazing to see five years of hard work and collaboration come to fruition for the benefit of the local community and its residents,” said Max Dorne, Partner at Claremont Development. “We couldn’t be more excited to advance an adaptive re-use project of this magnitude. The Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center will be a dynamic addition to local human-centered service offerings, helping to create better long-term outcomes for our fellow homeless citizens and others in need.”
“When we entered the New Jersey market several years ago to support the construction management needs of Claremont Development, we always envisioned that our team would get to work on high-profile projects that truly mattered to the community,” said Frank Ciminelli, President and CEO of Arc Building Partners. “This is very much one of those projects, and we know our experience operating under swift timelines will be a huge asset to the overall buildout efforts and delivery schedule.”
As a service operator at the former Miller Street Elementary School location, Catholic Charities recently consolidated its portfolio of offerings to that location. The operator currently provides volunteer and community outreach, supportive assistance for individuals and families, HUD-certified housing counseling, veteran support services, the 1-800 HELP LINE, school social work and Partnership for Children, Essex welfare to work training, and workforce development through high school equivalency, job coaches, and supported employment. Other offerings include integrated case management, partial care and outpatient mental health services, and shelter and transitional housing via St. Bridget’s AIDS support network.