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Heritage Services to raise $15 million for Siena-Francis house redevelopment

Heritage Services plans to raise $15 million for the Siena-Francis House.

The powerful nonprofit of local business leaders announced Thursday that it will raise the money "to construct a new low-barrier emergency shelter for the Siena-Francis House."

"This new approximately 43,000 square foot facility will lodge roughly 350 single men and 50-100 single women with dignity in a durable and safe space," Heritage Services President Sue Morris said in a statement.

 

The Omaha homeless shelter announced a major expansion about three years ago. It was described as a $14 million to $17 million campus that would add housing and medical services to the shelter.

It wasn't immediately clear what Thursday's announcement means for the whole project. An official from the Siena-Francis House and a spokeswoman for Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert referred questions to Heritage Services.

Stothert said in a statement that the city will use redevelopment bonds of up to $2.5 million for demolition, site remediation and streetscaping.

In April, the Omaha Planning Board will consider an amendment to an existing redevelopment plan for the area, which is around 16th and Nicholas Streets.

The plan involves demolishing the existing day shelter at 1624 Nicholas St. It also acknowledges that the existing Siena-Francis House building will be demolished and replaced "when it reaches the end of its useful life."

Stothert called Thursday's announcement an important step for the city's homeless population.

"Our goal must be to help people transition from homelessness to safe, affordable housing, employment and other services necessary for a successful future," she said. "The financing for this project will be possible thanks to Heritage Services. We are grateful for their support."

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