The new "Sister Rose House" was officially dedicated Tuesday. The facility is located at the site of the former St. Hedwig Church on Division Street in New Bedford and is expected to open in several weeks. It's named for Sister Rose Gallogly, who managed the Market Ministries Shelter Downtown for 25 years.

The new facility will house 25 men, along with a kitchen and education center for job-training purposes. Arlene McNamee of Catholic Social Services says job training is an important part of the project. "We have this magnificent kitchen that we can use as a learning classroom, and I talked to a couple of chefs that helped us design it. This is going to be the first step in giving people skills to where they can be sustainable," said McNamee.

More than half the money for the $1.6-million project was raised privately by former State Senator William "Biff" MacLean and former City Councilor John Saunders.

Saunders says both were surprised to learn that 30% of New Bedford's homeless

John Saunders / TSM

population were fishermen or former fishermen. Saunders said "I got together with Biff who said we've got to put a team together to raise the money. Let's go down to the waterfront and ask guys who had a good year if they would like to participate."  Three and a half weeks later, Saunders and MacLean had raised $850,000.  The new Education Center is named after MacLean and Saunders.

As part of the project, the former rectory building across the street was refurbished, and is now providing shelter to 11 women.

Workers putting finishing touches on Sister Rose House / TSM