The Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole will hold a community meeting on March 20th to discuss its plans to begin working with the Town of Jackson to build workforce housing for staff on its seven-acre campus on South Park Loop Road in order to secure its future viability as a church and community asset.
The church is looking to build a pocket community of 21 townhomes, ten of which are to be built immediately in order to fill staff vacancies and retain current staff.
Scott O’Hare, the chair of the PCJH Staff Housing Committee said that a second phase of 11 townhomes will be built in the future as funding allows to ensure that they can provide for future needs of the church and the Jackson community, he adds.
O’Hare noted that the church’s outreach and youth programs serve hundreds of Jackson Hole residents each year. These include free Wednesday dinners for the community, meals for shut-ins, winter clothing drives for needy families along with a pre-school. They also engage in after-school programs, and a music academy that together engage 84 students weekly.
But church officials say it is becoming difficult to continue to serve the diverse needs of the Jackson community due to the escalating cost of housing,”
As an example, O’Hare said they were forced to suspend their popular summer camp that served 222 young people last year due to the cost of housing a staff team required to run it.
Fortunately, O’Hare says, they foresight to purchase additional land on their campus for future needs.
O’Hare emphasized that the creation of this on-site staff housing is critical to the church’s ability to continue to provide needed community services to Jackson.