Apartments for homeless youth open Friday

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March 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

Downtown's most recently completed development doesn't feature expensive condos. Instead, it's affordable apartments for homeless youth and adults on assisted living.

Residents will start moving into St. Barnabas Apartments, 906 S. 7th St., on Friday, April 1, according to Gina Ciganik, project manager for Central Community Housing Trust. CCHT developed and manages the Elliot Park property, and has partnered with YouthLink, which will work with kids living at St. Barnabas.

St. Barnabas will feature 39 apartments for "homeless and vulnerable" youth, as well as 13 upper-level units, separate from youth apartments, for people whose incomes are at or below 50 percent of the area median income ($26,950 for an individual in 2005).

Each efficiency apartment will feature kitchen and bathroom facilities. The existing parking lot will become greenspace, Ciganik said.

Other partners in the $7.4 million project are Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota. The Episcopal Diocese founded St. Barnabas, a former hospital, in the late 1800s, according to Ciganik. The property was in Allina's hands until it donated the $636,000 building to CCHT. The Episcopal Diocese donated $400,000.

Mayor R.T. Rybak and emcee Robyne Robinson are expected to be on hand at a Thursday, April 7 grand opening ceremony.

YouthLink is collecting donated items such as shower curtains, wastebaskets, pillows, bedding, dishes and plates to fill "Spring Baskets" for arriving youth.

For more information and a full list of desired items, contact YouthLink's Susan Raffo at 252-1280, or e-mail.

Also, if you know someone ages 16 to 21 who is homeless, transitioning from an out-of-home placement or precariously housed, contact Sue Pohl at 252-1216 or for information or an application form. Leave an address if you want an application form mailed out.