Union Gospel Mission, chapel wall Union Gospel Mission, interior columns Union Gospel Mission, exterior Union Gospel Mission, living area Union Gospel Mission, hallway
Union Gospel Mission, hallway

Union Gospel Mission of Dallas

40,000 sf
$3 million
Completion Date

Center of Hope is a homeless shelter and educational facility for homeless women and children operated by the Union Gospel Mission, a non-profit, faith-based program serving the homeless community in Dallas for 45 years. This is a new facility to serve only women and children, located in a brownsfield project in central Dallas. The abandoned warehouse had to be abated of hazardous material, gutted and shored to allow for the new construction. The program called for a variety of uses housed in one secure building to allow for the nurturing and protection of the inhabitants.

Since there were many types of uses besides the living areas which could become confusing to inhabitants, a simple organizational system similar to a village was implemented. The bisected building had the living units on the “private side” and all other uses on the “public side”, intersected by a grid of wide corridors and sky lit nodes utilizing color for way finding. The public side has a dining hall, kitchen, chapel, child care center, library, classrooms, clothes “store”, computer room, self serve and staff laundry. Staff offices are accessed off wide, circulating corridors or streets with intersections becoming more recognizable nodes.

For the residential uses, the Mission wanted to provide private sleeping rooms in lieu of areas with beds assigned each night so that individuals and families would have a sense of home and security. Most of the units are located on the perimeter to allow for natural light from enlarged windows and face inward to group living areas, which are either larger open areas or smaller semi-transparent dens serving two rooms where inhabitants stay for extended periods. The design had to be flexible enough to allow for any furniture since the donation from a large hotel chain that was remodeling of all the furniture had not been available when it was in the design phase. Natural light was brought to the interior by large skylights and interior “windows”. The challenge was to make this institutional facility look and feel non-institutional with a variety of spaces, so that the space would not only provide a space for the different uses but enlist a sense of hope and of being nurtured for both adults and children.

Services Included:

  • Programming
  • Detailed Cost Estimating
  • Design and Construction
  • Documentation
  • Specifications
  • Renderings
  • Furniture Layout
  • Interiors and Graphics


Sally Johnson Architect LLC
(T) 214.766.2887
6234 Lakeshore, Dallas, TX 75214