Michael Bushnell

Sheffield Place, a Northeast-based service organization dedicated to the empowerment of homeless mothers and their children, is expanding  again and will soon break ground on a new residential facility located at the corner of 10th Street and Newton Avenue in the heart of the Sheffield Neighborhood.

According to Kelly Welch, Sheffield’s President and CEO, the organization just completed acquisition of a home and vacant lot just across the street from their initial residential expansion in the former convent building directly to the south. The new facility will be built around a central exterior courtyard and offer five transitional living units for families, a common kitchen and living area, in-house laundry facilities, and three offices for case managers and health professionals.

Welch and her team worked with the owner of the property and the Sheffield Neighborhood Association through an almost two year process which culminated on February 21st when they closed on the property. “We had heard through some neighbors the property owner was tired of renting and neighborhood president  Mark Morales suggested he talk with us about buying the property,” Welch said.

The next step is demolition of the old house on the property and site preparation with the goal of breaking ground sometime this September or October with a tentative completion date roughly a year later, in September 2025, depending on how quickly the city permitting process signs off on the various phases of construction.

Sheffield Place opened in February of 1991 when they purchased the old five-story Nor-Val-E YMCA facility on the northwest corner of 12th and Bennington. Since that time they have continued to serve a growing clientele of homeless mothers who have taken positive steps in getting off the street and putting their lives back on track. Since its initial opening, Sheffield Place has served over 1,600 families. The new facility will allow Sheffield Place to increase their capacity by 20%, increasing from seventeen housing units presently to twenty-two upon completion of the new building.

“We want to make sure we have the capacity, but also that it doesn’t change the integrity of the program because right now our program is very hands on,” Welch said. Clients see a therapist once a week, a case manager at least once a week and attend over 23 hours of group class activity in order to insure the success of the resident family. “It’s very important,” Welch added,  “our whole mission statement is to help these families become self-sufficient.”

Cost for the new project is estimated to be roughly $3.7-million which includes property acquisition, demolition and site prep and the build itself pending any unforeseen construction issues or delays.
For more information on Sheffield Place and this project, visit: https://www.sheffieldplace.org/.