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St. Louis Center Converts Former Residential Area Into Office Space

Photo by Kelly Flaherty. Fr. Satheesh Alphonse, Community Superior, begins the sacred blessing ceremony for the new social work offices.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joe Yekulis for the information in this story and Kelly Flaherty for the photos.)

As St. Louis Center continued to grow as a program for children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities during the past ten years, so did the need for additional social work staff to provide special services for this unique population.

Office space was at a premium, so once the Children’s Homes were completed in St. Louis Guanella Village in June 2018, Martin Hall, (in the original part of the building), was soon emptied of its young residents who moved into St. Louis Guanella Village.  

That left Fr. Enzo Addari, CEO, and his staff with an opportunity to provide additional office space for the staff, and one in particular who had been working out of a former supply closet. So the architects went to work, and came up with a re-design of Martin Hall across from the existing offices.

Photo by Kelly Flaherty. Social Work Assistant Stephanie Lyerla shows off her new office.

The former children’s dormitory unit was gutted during the summer of 2020, and now there is finally a modern office suite in its place. The new social work suite was opened during the first week of February with a special blessing ceremony conducted by members of the Servants of Charity Congregation.

Now each member of the social work department has their own beautiful office within the suite, and there is a large conference room where staff can gather for meetings with parents, family members, and other professional staff as needed. There is also a new waiting area for families who no longer have to wait in the main lobby area.

According to Chief Operations Officer Deana Fisher, these upgrades are extremely important in meeting professional standards.

“Not only has this expansion provided more room for staff, but we have also added visitation rooms with toys and amenities for families to make them more comfortable during their visits. Our new conference room also has advanced technology to allow us to have zoom meetings with others as a group. We’ve definitely improved our way of doing business,” she said in a press release.

St. Louis Center is grateful to the local community for the many contributions to the Legacy Campaign that has provided it with the resources to make these types of improvements.

For more information about St. Louis Center or to donate, please visit, or call 734-475-8430.

St. Louis Center is a residential care facility for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities now operating in its 61st year.  

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