“Paul’s Place has been a project close to my heart for many years and now it’s fulfilling its entire potential,” says architect Maria Ogrydziak of the innovative fourstory building she designed to take people needing a home on a journey to stability. “Seeing it fully occupied and functioning as the welcoming and hopeful place it’s designed to be is part of the wonder of architecture for me.”
Operated by Davis Community Meals and Housing, Paul’s Place offers graduated services from the ground floor up, representing a journey for users and residents. The ground floor functions as a day-use resource center with showers, laundry, kitchen and four emergency beds. One floor up is designed for transitional living where people can stay for 12 to 18 months, with 10 bedrooms, a common living area, kitchen, laundry and staff offices. The third and fourth floors offer permanent supportive housing with 18 micro-unit apartments and a common living area.
The upper floors have just recently taken in residents, marking the first time Paul’s Place has been in full use.
“I’ve been overwhelmed with responses from the residents who are now living and understanding my design,” says Ogrydziak. “This most gratifying project is actually making a difference in people’s lives.”
Created amidst broad community input and celebrating its completion in February 2023, this transformational residential experience is a local response to the national homelessness crisis. Feedback from Paul’s Place residents, Davis residents and the City of Davis have been unanimously positive, as all recognize the critical role it plays in improving individual and community health and wellbeing
“This design is a viable way to tackle homelessness,” says Ogrydziak. “The success of Paul’s Place is due to creating community and a positive atmosphere so people feel at home. Guiding residents on this journey achieves results, and I see the design as a prototype for other cities and towns to achieve the same success.”