August 29, 2011
The newly opened Mother Teresa House at North Church Street offers independent living in a residential setting for people with HIV/AIDS. More than 80 people attended the Aug. 22 dedication of the 5,723-square-foot home, including Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) and Jane C.W. Vincent, regional director of the Philadelphia office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The house and furnishings cost more than $1 million. Of that amount, HUD provided $630,000. The house is built on three lots, and its interior was designed for comfort and practicality.
Mother Teresa House is separately incorporated but sponsored by the nonprofit Ministry of Caring. It is part of a $5 million group of building and renovation projects undertaken by the ministry. HUD will provide $29,200 in annual rental support for the home.
M. Eileen Schmitt, board of directors' president for Mother Teresa House, thanked all those who helped make the home a reality. "This house initially was a controversial project with a lot of difficulty getting it approved," she said.
HUD "took a lot of criticism for funding small 'boutique housing' ... for five, 10, 15 people," Vincent noted. Nevertheless, "It's beautiful, just beautiful," she said of the facility, adding, "That's what it's all about ... welcome home."