Watch CBS News

1950s Convent Reopens As Housing For Chronically Ill Homeless Men And Women

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- On the heels of the Pope's visit from Pope Francis, a ribbon cutting today in Northeast Philadelphia for a converted convent that will now provide housing for city's most vulnerable.

Located off Forrest Avenue, St. Raymond's House will provide permanent housing for for 27 chronically ill homeless men and women.

"It's really just hard to recover on the street when you are sick."


Dr. Bon Ku says the homeless makes up 1-percent of the city's population, yet 15 percent of those seeking treatment in the ER --the new residents-- will get a simple room: a bed, desk and small closet, along with medical support, prescriptions and a place to recover.

"It makes a huge difference in cost."

Marie Navarkia, from the Office of Supportive Housing, says the city is putting up more than $700,000 in renewable biannual funding- that'll pay for rehab, rent and utilities-- a savings on costs of repeated ER visits.

"It'll cost us less."

The new housing comes thanks to a partnership between St. Raymond's Parish and Depaul USA. The new residents will begin moving in this week.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.