ST. CLOUD — Seven years ago, a crime-ridden house on the city's south side was torn down and replaced by a new Community OutPost, bringing with it a public safety presence, after-school youth services and adult educational programs.

That outpost, nicknamed the COP House, has made the neighborhood safer and healthier, according to a survey of residents and crime data. And now it's poised to become the model for two new outposts on the city's east side.

This summer, the city is renovating a park building on the southeast side using federal grants. And the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation, which owns the first outpost, is planning to open an outpost in a church on E. St. Germain Street by early next year.

"The first one we had was so successful," said St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis. "We've talked about replicating it in all neighborhoods."

St. Cloud's southside Community OutPost is the first of its kind in the state. The foundation purchased the former house at the site because it was the epicenter of crime in the neighborhood, with nearly 100 police calls in the five years before it was torn down.

The outpost is modeled after a program in Racine, Wis., which opened its first COP House in 1993 to deter violent crime. A federal grant paid for police officers to staff St. Cloud's outpost until 2018, when the city added three officer positions to the budget to continue programming.

"It's not all focused on the police part, although the police are part of the engagement in those neighborhoods," Kleis said. "But it goes beyond that to education, to health and all kinds of other things."

On any given afternoon, officers and volunteers can be seen playing basketball or soccer with neighborhood kids, or firing up a grill. Inside, county human services providers and public health nurses meet with residents, and community groups host sewing classes and adult English lessons.

The programming is tailored to the neighborhood, which has a number of low-income residents and immigrants, said Sonja Gidlow, former executive director of the foundation who now serves on its board.

"So instead of expecting people to find those resources, it really brings the resources to them," she said.

Momentum for additional outposts started two years ago when the city received a $475,000 federal grant to bring a second COP House to the east side.

The city is renovating a building at Reach-Up Park that houses Promise Neighborhood, a nonprofit providing academic programs for youth and resources for adults. Promise Neighborhood will remain in the building, and new service providers will rent space, too, Kleis said.

The public safety foundation outpost will occupy rented space at Salem Lutheran Church, just east of the Mississippi River.

"Some of that area is low-income. It's a food desert. And lots of folks in that neighborhood use the emergency room for their medical care, so there are some medical concerns that are not being addressed appropriately or efficiently," Gidlow said.

Plans call for that outpost to house a medical clinic with the help of the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, which have been struggling to find space for nursing students to complete their clinical requirements, Gidlow said.

Also planning to join the outpost will be St. Cloud police's co-responder team, which is a police officer and mental health professional who respond to behavioral health-related calls.

"The possibilities are absolutely endless," said Gidlow, who praised the business leaders, community organizations, education institutions and other other community members who have worked together to make the outposts possible.

"What I think is so remarkable about the greater St. Cloud area is our community is large enough to have some really fabulous resources," she said. "But we're small enough to get the decisionmakers in one room. That's how we can make things happen."