New $24 million wellness center planned for north St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS — Leaders of the Jubilee Community Church are working to combat the fentanyl epidemic in north St. Louis with a holistic approach.


What You Need To Know

  • Spearheaded by the church’s Jubilee Community Development Corporation, plans include renovating the 51,380-square-foot, historic Eliot School on Grove Street into the Jubilee Wellness Center
  • The $24 million project will feature fellowship and training spaces, housing, a clinic, support spaces and more
  • Noted as the largest private project north of the Delmar Divide in 75 years, it already has received funding from the city of St. Louis and will get historic tax incentives
  • Construction is on track to start next year

While rebuilding the ministry after the COVID-19 pandemic, administrative pastor Andy Krumsieg said they saw a “crying” and “horrifying” need to address addiction, mental illness and homelessness in an effective way.

“We’ve been doing good ministry, but we had, in some respects, come to the end of ourselves in being effective in the community for actually seeing lives changed, especially around issues of addiction, mental illness (and) homelessness,” he said.

Spearheaded by the church’s Jubilee Community Development Corporation, plans include renovating the 51,380-square-foot, historic Eliot School on Grove Street into the Jubilee Wellness Center.

The $24 million project will feature fellowship and training spaces, housing, a clinic, support spaces and more.

“We always knew we needed a holistic approach, but I mean what can we find —two things— first, the person with the knowledge, second, with the right kind of spirit,” said Dr. Bryan Moore, senior pastor.

“It’s important to have the right spirit when you come into a place like this.”

Although Jubilee Community Development Corporation is a Christian-based ministry, the organization is focused on mind, body and soul.

Holistic doctor Dyandra Herron specializes in ancient native modalities that help with detoxing and wants to offer her services to the new wellness center. She also has experience in facilitating reiki, avatar, massage and other therapies.

“There are so many modalities that are available to help the people heal even more effectively along with the treatments that are here,” she said.

Noted as the largest private project north of the Delmar Divide in 75 years, it already has received funding from the city of St. Louis and will get historic tax incentives.

“This is a group of people that comes from the most genuine place of wanting to care about the people that are there and what they can do to help,” said Joel Fuoss said, principal at Trivers.

Construction is on schedule to start next year, and Trivers Architectural Firm is developing the design plans for the former Eliot school that was originally built in 1898 by William B. Ittner.

What was once filled with learning and laughter has become dark and desolate, Fuoss said. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been abandoned since 2004.

“A lot of the conversations we’re having today about wellness, the ability to connect with folks, the ability to bring in light and air, and space and genuine materials, (are) really what they were designing with 125 years ago,” Fuoss said.

He mentioned the former school was built on limestone.

“It’s wonderful to see the original thoughts behind something 125 years ago, even though it’s not going to be a school in its future concept, a lot of those same principles can be applied to another idea,” Fuoss said.

The new wellness center will expand upon the variety of programs Jubilee Community Development Corporation already offers, including recovery homes, job training, employment and community initiatives.

“We had to be a one stop shop because there’s not very many services in the city,” Moore said.

He mentioned there are only 16 detox beds in the city of St. Louis.

“We’re expanding because we couldn’t find beds,” Moore said. “Being in this community, we literally were stepping over bodies. That’s not figurative, that’s literal.”

The Jubilee Wellness Center will have 75-100 beds.

“This is nothing heroic. We’re simply doing this because it was a necessity,” Moore said, noting that a nearby motel has 40 beds.

In partnership with Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA), the Jubilee Development Corporation also houses a medically assisted treatment facility.

“It has become a successful methodology of leading people from those addictive states of survival and dying on the streets … to the place of success (and) to the place of thriving,” Krumsieg said.

For more information about Jubilee Community Development Corporation, visit the organization’s website.

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