The Outlet, a young men’s mentoring center based in Springfield, has purchased the property that was the former St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield. The new property will become The Outlet’s regional home base for central Illinois.
Since June 2015, The Outlet’s home has been a 3,600-square-foot facility at 2525 S. 12th Street. This mainly one-room structure is where leaders and volunteers of The Outlet incubated programs and tested models for mentoring and youth engagement. With over 78,000 square feet, the new property at 3306 South Sixth St. will allow for major expansion and collaborative partnerships.
“When it comes to space, The Outlet is at capacity. When it comes to vision, there is limitless potential,” said Michael Phelon, founder and CEO of the youth organization. “Our mentee enrollment and programming has dramatically increased. Still, we want to meet community needs for more youth programming, clinical programs and expanded workforce development opportunities for the future. This purchase of St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield gives us the space to do all of that with the help of local partners.”
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception previously owned and operated St. Joseph’s Home to shelter and comfort aged people since 1903. After they announced their closure in December 2021, they began to prayerfully consider possible buyers for the mission-based facility before coming to an agreement with The Outlet.
“The leaders, donors and board members of The Outlet are so thankful for the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis,” says Phelon. “We truly believe that their legacy will continue with The Outlet as we move forward impacting youth and families in our region.”
“The Sisters are impressed with Mr. Phelon’s enthusiasm, drive, and commitment,” said Sister Kathleen Ann Mourisse, the President of the Sisters of St. Francis. “We believe that his emphasis on fatherless youth nicely bookends the mission and ministry of service to the elderly that has occurred for the past century on this property.”
The mission of The Outlet is to help young fatherless youth develop the ability to make responsible life decisions, hold real spiritual values, explore their gifts, and realize their dreams.