A proposed housing project meant to provide permanent supportive housing and casework services for people experiencing homelessness has taken the next step in securing funding before acquiring a property site in Lake Highlands.

What happened

Dallas County entered into an agreement with St. Jude Inc. to provide $3 million in funding for the housing project, St. Jude Center Vantage Point, during the Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting June 6.

The contribution comes through the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, which are meant to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to meeting documents. The fund allows broad use to address the needs of those impacted by the pandemic, such as people experiencing homelessness.

The backstory

St. Jude Center Vantage Point would replace the Extended Stay America at 9019 Vantage Point Drive, a hotel that was designated as a habitual crime property by the Dallas Police Department in 2022. Plans to replace the hotel have been in the works since 2022, but the city faced opposition from community members and nearby property owners who voiced concerns about the hotel’s ownership.

During its May 24 meeting, City Council voted to rezone the nearly 3-acre property, which allowed it to host multifamily housing. At the meeting, St. Jude Inc. representative Joe Dingman said the nonprofit intends to purchase and renovate the rezoned property to open the new facility, St. Jude Center Vantage Point, in early 2024.

The details

St. Jude Center Vantage Point will offer 132 housing units for people experiencing homelessness, according to June 6 meeting documents. The housing is paired with “intensive casework to get at and resolve the root causes of homelessness.”

St. Jude Inc. has two other housing centers: St. Jude Center at Forest Lane, which has 104 permanent supportive housing units for those age 55 and older, and St. Jude Center at Park Central, which has 200 units of permanent and transitional housing for those age 18 and older.

The cost

The total budget for St. Jude Center Vantage Point is $11 million with $7 million for purchasing the property and $4 million for renovating it, according to meeting documents.

In addition to the $3 million in funding from the county, St. Jude Inc. is seeking $6 million in funding from the city of Dallas. The funding proposal was submitted to the city May 23 and is expected to be considered at a future City Council meeting.