St. Jude Park Central

The Dallas City Council approved a zoning change Wednesday permitting conversion of a crime-ridden hotel on Vantage Point near Forest and 635 to permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless persons. The new St. Jude Center Vantage Point would be operated by Catholic Charities.

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

Catholic Charities currently runs two other Dallas centers — St. Jude Park Central near Coit and 635 and St. Jude Forest Lane near Forest and Josey Lane. Both offer case management and extended services, with support by a network of nonprofits agencies. Both have on-site managers around the clock.

At recent meetings for area residents, neighbors mostly indicated support for the project, particularly given the property’s history. In its current iteration as an Extended Stay America hotel, police have been repeatedly called to handle drug dealers, sex crimes and even murder. Some referred to it as the “hotel from hell.”

“This was a meeting with a lower temperature and more neighborhood support,” said Adam Lamont, who lives near the site and has attended several gatherings to discuss proposals to house the homeless. He encouraged the council to support the project.

“This is an opportunity to invest both in this place and in the individuals who need assistance,” he said.

Catholic Charities puts St. Jude Centers in aging hotels like the 136-room Extended Stay at 9019 Vantage Point. The nearby DART station will give residents access to medical care, employment and other services.

Councilman Adam McGough motioned to approve the new zoning and said the change would bring improvement to “one of the most dangerous properties in our entire area.”

Other council members, including Gay Donnell Willis, agreed. She admitted the St. Jude Center in her district was first opposed by residents in her neighborhood. Once it began operating and proved to be clean and orderly, neighbors came around.

“Now it’s very much supported. There’s a real quality of life and sense of community,” Willis said.

Final plans for St. Jude Vantage Point will need further approval from the council, but Wednesday’s unanimous praise for the proposal around the horseshoe was indication of future support.

Extended Stay America on Vantage Point.