FBMS, in bold approach to ending homelessness, breaks ground on Quincy development

Yawkey Housing Resource Center hailed as transformative model


[QUINCY, Mass., Tuesday, November 9, 2021] The nonprofit organization Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) is breaking ground on a new development, the Yawkey Housing Resource Center, which reimagines how a community responds to homelessness. Business and community leaders joined FBMS at the future property site Tuesday to commemorate the start of a project they say could serve as a national model.

The Yawkey Housing Resource Center development, comprised of two new buildings, will be home to a new service-delivery model that adds daytime supports and streamlines services with the goal of ending homelessness on the South Shore and across Southern Massachusetts. The property will include a day center, an emergency shelter, and on-site efficiency apartments.

The new approach would dedicate more staff and resources to homelessness prevention, diversion and rapid re-housing, thus reducing the overall reliance on overnight shelter.

“We are grateful to our generous partners in the private and public sectors who have stepped up to invest in this bold vision,” said John Yazwinski, President & CEO of FBMS. “Our community continues to show us that we are not alone in this fight to end homelessness. One of our mission’s founders, the late Father Bill McCarthy, used to always say to me that our goal is to take down the sign at our shelter and end homelessness, not manage it. Today, our compassionate network of supporters are helping turn Father Bill’s dream into a reality.”

Other speakers at Tuesday’s event included: Arbella Insurance Group President & CEO John Donohue; Maureen H. Bleday, CEO and Trustee of the Yawkey Foundation; Quincy City Councilor Brian Palmucci; Roger Herzog, Executive Director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC); and April Connolly, Chief Operating Officer of FBMS. The Rev. Dr. Adolph H. Wismar, Jr, a co-founder of FBMS and current board member, provided the opening prayer, and the Rev. Rebecca Froom, minister of the United First Parish Church in Quincy, provided a closing blessing.

The administration of Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, through the Department of Housing and Community Development, has awarded $6 million in capital funding toward construction of the Yawkey Housing Resource Center two-building development.

Last week, FBMS announced the Yawkey Foundation’s gift of $2 million toward the innovative project, which will cost approximately $24 million in total. The property at 39 Broad Street will be called the Yawkey Housing Resource Center, in honor of the Yawkey Foundation’s longtime support of FBMS.

This $2 million commitment from the Yawkey Foundation serves as a lead gift in FBMS’ “A Path Home” campaign to raise $10 million privately toward the project’s capital and programmatic expenses.

The Yawkey Housing Resource Center will be constructed across the street from FBMS’ existing emergency shelter, Father Bill’s Place, which will be knocked down as part of the City of Quincy’s plans to build a new Public Safety Complex. The City of Quincy, in addition to awarding the development $1 million from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund, has signed a 99-year lease with FBMS for use of the site at 39 Broad Street.

The first phase, expected to be completed by the spring of 2023, is a two-story, 16,000 square-foot building will include the following: FBMS program and training spaces; co-located resources including a full, primary-care medical clinic, substance use and mental health services and housing assistance; shelter beds with lockers and showers for guests; a commercial kitchen space and dining area; and administrative offices.

The second phase, expected to break ground in spring of 2022 and be completed by summer of 2023, is a four-story, 20,000-square-foot building comprised of 30 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. FBMS currently operates more than 600 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals, families, and Veterans across Southern Massachusetts.

Supporters of Yawkey Housing Resource Center

Public Funders: Administration of Governor Charlie Baker & Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito  – Department of Housing and Community Development, Executive Office of Health and Human Services; City of Quincy; Quincy Affordable Housing Trust Committee; Quincy Housing Authority; Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation; Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC); Property Casualty Initiative.

Private Funders: Alvarium Foundation; Arbella Insurance Foundation; Boselli Family; Patricia Conway; John Donohue & Frances Robinson; Eastern Bank; Philip & Deborah Edmundson; The Flatley Foundation; Jack Conway & Co., Inc.; Lisa Lenon & William Stanton; The McKim Family; William Murphy; The Pineau Family; Quincy Mutual Group; Rockland Trust; South Shore Bank; Jack & Kay Spurr; Yawkey Foundation.

Development Team: Property Manager and Service Provider – Father Bill’s & MainSpring; Development Consultant & Owner’s Project Manager – NeighborWorks Housing Solutions; Architect – The Narrow Gate Architecture; General Contractor – Dellbrook | JKS; Project Attorneys – Hackett Feinberg, P.C.; Matera, Vopat, Matera & Johnson, P.C.

Father Bill's & MainSpring Logo

About Father Bill’s & MainSpring

Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) is the leading provider of services to prevent and end homelessness in Southern Massachusetts. The agency, founded in the early 1980s by a group of interfaith and community leaders, helps more than 5,000 people annually who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. FBMS, a proud partner of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with administrative offices in Quincy and Brockton and program offices throughout Southern Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.helpfbms.org.