Sioux Falls, SD
The Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese is now unveiling to the public what the new Bishop Dudley Hospitality House will look like.
KELO News recently got a tour of the building on Indiana Avenue, where the new shelter will be located.
The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House is pretty sparse looking right now. There are several things that need to be done before it's ready for visitors. But once it is ready, there's hope that this will be a place of solitude for those in need. And it all starts when you walk in the doors.
The reception desk will be through the front entrance. The hope is when visitors come in, they feel welcomed and respected by the people working here.
"It's an incredible humbling experience, I can imagine never having been through it myself but having worked with individuals. 'I am so to the bottom. I'm so at the end of my rope that I've got to go to a 'homeless shelter.' Our hope would be that walking forward they would realize that they too have dignity," Matt Althoff with the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese said.
There will be some communal office space available right next to the lobby area. This is for various organizations that help people struggling with any number of life challenges.
"You need help with job skills training; let's connect you with an entity that can provide that. You need help with addiction, you're a recovering addict and you're really trying to overcome those temptations, let's get you in a support group. Or let's get you in with addiction counseling," Althoff said.
Though the lobby will be a welcoming place, it will also serve as the first line of defense to keep the rest of the guests and staff safe. There will be a check-in process and tight security throughout the building.
"Those that might be served at this facility have dignity. And they need a safe place to go. So security is as much for the guests that would be coming here and occasionally spending the night, as it would be for any neighbors or staff members or volunteers," Althoff said.
Part of that security includes separate space for men, women and families. Men will be on one side, women will be on the other and families will be towards the back of the building.
Each side will have a sleeping area, a commons area indoors to visit and do job research, some fenced in space outside, and a few other basic necessities.
"You'd have showers and restroom facilities, but then also laundry facilities. So a place where they could do the personal affects. They could launder on a limited basis," Althoff said.
The only difference will be some added play equipment in the outdoors area for the women's side.
Between the men and women will be a place for spiritual reflection.
Next to that, there will be an eating area to supplement any meals other community non-profits are unable to provide.
On the other side of a large, load-bearing wall is where families can stay together.
"What amounts to, essentially a motel room. Where you'd have multiple beds, a bathroom facility within it, and some open shelving to put personal affects and such. It's very spartan but it serves an essential need. And a need that we've come to realize is one of the biggest gaps that exists in our community today," Althoff said.
Just one of many gaps that will hopefully be filled once the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House is complete early next year.
The Diocese did some research to find out how many beds they should include in their plans. There will be about 80 beds on the men's side, and about 20 on the women's. The family area will have seven rooms available each night.
They are asking for donations at BDHH.org.
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