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Pine Street Inn dedicates new building on Upton St.

Posted by Patrick Rosso  October 20, 2011 11:00 AM

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(Patrick Rosso/

Mayor Thomas Menino, joined by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, at the Pine Street Inn’s dedication ceremony Wednesday.

The South End community and Mayor Thomas Menino joined Pine Street Inn and Planning Office for Urban Affairs representatives Wednesday to dedicate Pine Street Inn’s new units at 38-42 Upton St. in the South End.

“We don’t just want rich people housing, we want people of all incomes to live in our city,” Menino said at the dedication held in the Pine Street Inn’s offices on Harrison Avenue.

The new units, recently renovated at a cost of nearly $3 million, will provide apartments for 18 formerly homeless individuals along with an onsite manager.

The Planning Office for Urban Affairs, a social justice ministry affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston, which worked to develop the property, will continue to own the building through an affiliated entity, but the Pine Street Inn will manage the building and provide services.

The house was originally owned by the Hope House, a nonprofit that specialized in treating substance abuse prior to its sale.

The Pine Street Inn and its attempt to create housing on Upton Street has not been far from controversy.

Since 2007, when the group was considering buildings for expansion, many residents came out in opposition to the Upton Street plans, fearing who their potential new neighbors could be.

But after the nearly four-year journey many at the dedication were praising the outcome, and looked toward the future of the building and the people who will live inside it.

“These projects are not just houses they are life changing houses for the people who move into them,” said Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of Pine Street Inn.

The Pine Street Inn, established in 1984, has 34 locations that house nearly 650 residents throughout Boston and Brookline.

The group helps roughly 1,300 homeless individuals daily with permanent housing, job training, emergency shelter, and street outreach.

Funds and logistical help for the new units were also provided by John Hancock Financial Service, The Massachusetts Life Insurance Community Invest Initiative, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Bank of America and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

New residents are expected to move into the building in two weeks.

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