new home for St. Patrick’s Haven

Slightly more than a year after the groundbreaking, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania announced the official opening of the new home for St. Patrick’s Haven temporary shelter for men at 239 East 12th Street in downtown Erie. Clients were welcomed in the new building beginning Friday, November 17. 

The 3,400 sq. ft. building features four guest rooms which can each accommodate 6 men, two private bedrooms for the on-site managers, a kitchen, television lounge, sitting room, office, six full bathrooms and an additional accessible shower. All the furnishings were either donated or purchased new and the building will be completely stocked with new sheets, towels, pillows and blankets.

“This beautiful facility will allow each guest to put his head down at night in clean, new surroundings. The men we serve were created in God’s image and it’s a privilege to serve them,” said Betsy Wiest, St. Patrick’s Haven Site Supervisor. “This space was designed and built to accommodate more homeless men of Erie and to be a place where their hope can be restored,”   

Plans to open a new St. Patrick’s Haven began to take shape after the ministry was selected as the beneficiary of proceeds from the 2014 Roar on the Shore Motorcycle Rally, an annual charitable event sponsored by the Manufacturer’s and Business Association. St. Patrick’s Haven received $50,000 from the event in addition to three vacant lots donated by local businessman, Rick Griffith. Total cost of the new facility was approximately $500,000. A successful fundraising campaign was launched to secure the additional funds needed. The campaign theme was Restoring Hope.

“St. Patrick’s Haven survived for more than thirty-three years thanks to the generosity of so many people who believed in the mission,” said Sister Mary Fromknecht, SSJ, St. Patrick’s Haven Director. “Thanks to the Restoring Hope campaign, we now have a new home where homeless men will continue to be welcomed nightly and we can continue responding to what is unfortunately an ongoing and growing need in our community.”

St. Patrick’s Haven has provided for the needs of homeless men in the City of Erie since it was founded in 1984 as an outreach of Saint Patrick Parish. In the mid-1990s, it became a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Saint Patrick Parish has remained involved and supportive of the St. Patrick’s Haven ministry.

The mission of St. Patrick’s Haven is to be a ministry of presence and to provide a place of welcome, nightly refuge, food, comfort and friendship for homeless men in the area.  During the 2016-17 fiscal year (July 1-June 30), St. Patrick’s Haven provided 6,837 nights of shelter to 165 men, including many veterans.

St. Patrick’s Haven is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

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