Beginnings and History
In 1992, Saint Olaf pastor Monsignor Francis Fleming purchased the Mahala Fisk Pillsbury Club building behind the church on Second Avenue. The Women’s Christian Association operated the building as a women’s residence from 1956 to 1992. The timing of the parish purchase was perfect.
A few months before the purchase, “the University of St. Thomas was dealing with public reaction to the conversion of a building on its downtown Minneapolis campus from affordable housing to university offices. The building in question, known as the Exodus Hotel, served as a residence for about 90 people.
Given the acute shortage of affordable housing in the city, the prospect of losing this facility was understandably disturbing. Fr. John Forliti, then Vice President for Student Affairs at St. Thomas, found himself in the midst of the controversy as the person charged by the university to resolve the problem. So when Saint Olaf expressed interest in purchasing the Pillsbury Club, it seemed like the perfect solution had been found. Exodus residents would have a new home and St. Thomas would have its building.”
What Is The Exodus Building Used For Today?The Exodus Residence was most recently a home to 95 single men and women in need of low cost and supportive housing. It met the critical need of low cost housing for persons who have experienced homelessness. Saint Olaf owns the 8-story building, which is located next to the church on 2nd Ave. and 9th St., and Catholic Charities manages the group residential housing and support services. Stay tuned for updates on what programs are in store for the Exodus Building.A New Location for Affordable HousingCatholic Charities has moved their residential housing program to a new site at Elliot Park. Their new program Endeavors will help to provide 173 single people with homes. For more information about Endeavors, you can contact Catholic Charities at (612) 204-8500, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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