Pork Stories

Detroit’s Pope Francis Center gets $7M in 2024 Michigan budget

Group had nearly $5M in net income, $12M in assets in 2023

Michigan’s 2024 state budget awards $7 million to the Pope Francis Center in Detroit. The center also received $7 million from California-based Julia Burke Foundation in 2021 for its mission to provide housing and other services for the homeless, according to the nonprofit’s website.

The center serves 200 homeless people per day, according to the site. Its plans include “a 40-unit bridge housing facility in Detroit with trauma-informed care involving intensive medical, respite, psychological, addiction, social and job-readiness services designed to break the cycles of chronic homelessness.”

The facility will provide temporary, 90-to-120-day housing, and aid people in their move to permanent supportive housing, said Todd Nissen, spokesman for the Pope Francis Center. The development will cost upward of $30 million.

“We want to help people figure out a different path forward,” Nissen told Michigan Capitol Confidential. 

Federal laws required the center to file a Schedule L on its Form 990 for 2022. Nonprofits that file a 990 with the IRS must also file the schedule when there is a conflict of interest. The schedule shows the center paid Vella Strategic Philanthropy Group $221,975 in 2022 for fundraising and marketing services. Jim Vella is a board member of Pope Francis Center and is also the founder and CEO of the philanthropy group.

The Pope Francis Center paid Cuda Management Consulting $103,238 for financial consulting services, Nissen said. The 990 form discloses that an employee of the consulting group is a family member of someone at the center. Nissen explained that Cuda’s owner, Paul Jakabscin, is the husband of a Pope Francis Center board member, Pamela Alexander.

The center reported $8.7 million in revenue in 2022, $4.6 million in net income and $12.3 million in net assets in 2022. The center was granted nonprofit status in 2016, according to GuideStar. It has in the past gone by the name of the Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Warming Center.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.