After years of working out of temporary offices, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin has found a new home in the former San Rafael Pacifics’ baseball building in downtown San Rafael.
With a $ 1.5 million bequest, the nonprofit was able to purchase the two-story, 5,000-square-foot office building at the corner of Second and B streets, a half-block away from its free dining room.
“It was a dream,” Christine Paquette, executive director of St. Vincent’s, said of the purchase.
The nonprofit had been leasing three sites for its 40-person full-time staff. Now, case managers and the nonprofit’s help desk will be under one roof, enabling the organization to streamline housing and other services for those in need.
Paquette said the nonprofit received the bequest from Alfred “Pete” Petrofsky, a longtime Marin resident who died in December 2020. He and his wife Peg, who has since died, had volunteered with St. Vincent’s since the 1960s, Paquette said.
“Pete was very concerned about people who were homeless and living on the streets,” Paquette said. “We’re really grateful to the Petrofskys for their generosity to make this happen.”
Other donor money continues to support services and was not used to acquire the new office.
The new office at 747 B St. was never on the market, but Paquette said the organization approached the owners to make the $ 1.7 million sale happen.
The nonprofit has been in San Rafael since 1946, providing hunger and housing crisis support programs to more than 10,000 people annually.
Paquette said no changes are planned at the dining room at 822 B St. It is open daily.
Programs such as rapid rehousing assistance for homeless people and emergency rental assistance to prevent evictions will be provided in the new offices.
“Our staff will be able to collaborate better, learn from each other and we can more easily have what we call ‘warm hand-offs,’” Paquette said. “For example, if someone loses housing, we can move them to a program right away to find them housing. It’s more challenging to do that from separate locations. “
Andrew Hening, project director of Opening Doors Marin, a public-private partnership to create more supportive housing in the county, works with St. Vincent’s on finding creative solutions to provide housing for homeless people.
“St. Vincent’s has been a big part of addressing chronic homelessness, ”Hening said. “Having the space where the team can be on one site is better for their clients, and it’s better for the community. This new expansion is an incredible opportunity for them. “
Mayor Kate Colin said St. Vincent’s supports the homeless as well as low-income communities.
“This move will enable them to further their commitment to end homelessness and hunger,” said Colin in congratulating the nonprofit on the move. “As a city, we 100% depend on our local nonprofits to collaborate and provide solutions. They have been an incredible partner to get people housed and to make sure people don’t go hungry. “