Family focus: Shelter rehabs dorm

May 2012 Posted in Community

By Don Murtha

St Joseph’s Shelter of Mount Angel has undertaken a complete renovation of one dormitory to house migrant and farm worker families in 10 new apartment units.

The project will cost an estimated $2.1 million which will be paid by federal and state grants and donations. The renovation will involve Bede Hall which will be altered from a dormitory into apartment units. Due to limited recourses Barnard Hall will be renovated at some time in the future.

“It is a wonderful project,” said Sister Marcella Parrish, director of the shelter. “We are truly blessed.”

The architect for the project is Scott Edwards Architecture. The project is expected to be ready for occupants in January 2013. Community and Shelter Assistance Corp. of Oregon (CASA) is providing development assistance.

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel established St. Joseph’s Shelter in 1988 to serve migrants and farm workers. The campus earlier was Mount Angel College and later Colegio Cesar Chavez. The shelter has served the migrant and farm worker population for 23 years in the two dormitories, Bede and Barnard Halls. Currently, the dormitories house 76 single male farm workers each. After the renovation of Bede Hall, Barnard Hall will house 70 male farm workers in a dormitory setting.

Due to the design of the two facilities, the shelter has been forced to turn away families seeking assistance in the past. With the redesign of Bede Hall, St. Joseph’s will be able to serve families.

The interior of Bede Hall needs replacement of sheetrock and paint. Some utilities can be updated, others need complete replacement. The building needs accessibility work to meet the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Windows, doors and skylights will be replaced. Exterior repair work will include new trim and paint and exterior brick cleaning, repair and sealing.

The rehabilitation will include two studio apartments of 344 square feet each and eight two-bedroom units of 667 to 895 square feet. A new shared laundry facility is included in the redesign. One of the two-bedroom apartments will meet ADA requirements. A picnic area and a small playground are included and a 21-space parking area with a van-accessible ADA space is proposed.

Rent will be $340 for a studio apartment and $475 a month for two-bedroom apartments with utilities included.  The property is owned by St. Joseph’s Shelter and is tax exempt.

The sources of funding include: Oregon Farm Worker Housing Tax Credit Equity $602,093; Federal Home Loan Bank $99,990; Oregon’s Housing Trust Fund/GHAP and Weatherization program $7,500; Global Health Access Program $500,000; Housing and Urban Development Rural Innovation Fund $300,000 and Building Donations $592,960.

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