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Former Methodist College building may become permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness

Tim Shelley
UnityPoint is considering the sale of the former Methodist College of Nursing building, 415 St Marks Ct. in Peoria, to Phoenix Community Development Services, which plans to convert it into 55 permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing homelessness.

The former Methodist College of Nursing building downtown may soon become supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.

UnityPoint Health is considering selling the seven-story building at 415 St. Marks Court to Phoenix Community Development Services. If sold, the space would be converted into 55 permanent supportive units for households experiencing homelessness.

The Methodist nursing college moved to the former American Furniture building in north Peoria in 2016. The seven-story building is now largely vacant, and isn't currently used for any hospital or clinical services.

The Methodist Family Child Care Center on the first floor will not be impacted, a UnityPoint spokesperson said.

Phoenix Community Development Services executive director Christine Kahl deferred to UnityPoint for comment on the project. A UnityPoint spokesperson said the project aligns with their mission to improve the health of the people and communities they serve, and the building's close proximity to healthcare services is also a plus.

A public hearing on a special use allowing for "multi-family residential housing for the homeless" is slated to go before the Peoria Planning and Zoning Commission next Thursday, Nov. 4.

If the project moves forward along the current timeline, a UnityPoint spokesperson said completion of the grant and construction process is expected by mid-2023.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.