The Commons at Third, a permanent supportive housing community at 1280 Norton Ave. between Third and Fifth avenues near Grandview, opened its doors Monday, July 16, with a ceremony.

The Commons at Third, a permanent supportive housing community at 1280 Norton Ave. between Third and Fifth avenues near Grandview, opened its doors Monday, July 16, with a ceremony.

The Commons is Upper Arlington-based National Church Residences' fifth supportive housing project in the Columbus area.

The three-story building has 100 studio apartments for formerly homeless and disabled low-income single adults.

Sixty of the apartments will be occupied by people who meet the "Rebuilding Lives" criteria set by the Community Shelter Board, said Thomas Slemmer, NCR's president and CEO.

The criteria include long-term or chronic homelessness, low income and disability, he said.

Twenty-five residents of the Commons will be nursing-home patients who cannot find permanent housing; 15 residents will come from halfway houses or hospitals, Slemmer said.

"Supportive housing is something we believe in. We know it works," said Floyd Jones, chairman of NCR's board of directors. "It really makes a difference in the lives of people."

The $11 million project was funded through private and public resources, including banks; local, state and federal housing loan programs; the city of Columbus; Franklin County; the United Way of Central Ohio; the Community Shelter Board; and private equity investors and foundations.

"Nothing we do would be possible without the support of those who partner with us," Jones said.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman noted the transformation of the former lumberyard site into a housing community that will "make people's lives better -- people who have had a tough time in life."

The city of Columbus is a leader nationally in creating supportive housing projects such as the Commons at Third, he said.

"There's a lot more going on here than just this building," said Greg Moody, director of the Governor's Office of Health Transformation.

The staff at the Commons will be able to figure out what physical and mental health services each resident needs and then provide those services, he said.

Services at the Commons will include case management, crisis intervention, assessment and referral and home health and nursing care.

The building features a community room, computer resource room, 24-hour staff entry, a meeting room for resident services, and interior and security cameras.

The facility has been certified "Platinum" by the Leadership in Energy & Environment Design program as developed by the U.S. Green Building Agency Council.

A partnership with Goodwill Columbus, whose headquarters are located a short distance away on Edgehill Drive, will give residents access to Goodwill's employment training and placement services.

Those job-related services will help bring "economic self-sufficiency" to the residents at the Commons, said Margie Pizzutti, Goodwill Columbus president and CEO.

Residents who move into many of the apartments will find a red welcome bag provided by St. Luke's United Methodist Church, a neighbor.

The bags, which contain items donated by the church and area businesses and organizations, each have the word beloved written on them, said the Rev. Laurie Clark, St. Luke's pastor.

"We know everyone is beloved to God and dear to God's heart," she said. "To live as God's beloved, we all need a home we can trust."

Many community partners have come together to create the Commons at Third, "where everyone knows they can live out their own belovedness," Clark said.