Dorothy Day Center demolished, new building to house more

The Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul celebrated a bittersweet milestone on Wednesday with the closure of its homeless shelter.

Demolition crews started knocking down the entrance to the old shelter, built in 1981.

In recent years, however, the Dorothy Days Center simply couldn’t house all of the people who needed shelter. In fact, some people had to sleep on the floor.

Wednesday’s demolition was part of a $100 million re-imagination of the complex, with the new shelter that opened back in January.

Catholic Charities President Tim Marx said the center will offer apartment rooms and job services for the residents.

"The building will become part of the St. Paul Opportunity Center and feature four floors of additional housing, including 177 units. There will be a wing for people aging out of foster care, and just good housing for those that have been out on the streets and those who need affordable housing who can’t afford it in the rest of the community," Marx said.

Phase two of the project should wrap up in 2019. The project was made possible by $40 million in corporate donations from across the Twin Cities.