Almost immediately after plans for the new Bishop Dudley Hospitality House were announced, neighbors and area businesses expressed concerns about safety. Law enforcement officials and the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls believe they have a plan to ease those fears.
"There will be security features as part of that including a camera system and some other things that will help ensure security for everyone," Communications Director Jerry Klein said.
The Diocese is working with Sioux Falls Police to ensure everyone's safety.
"I think there's probably been some misperception about this facility that perhaps it was going to create more problems for the neighborhood. We tend to think it's actually going to have the opposite effect," Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said.
Barthel also believes that when the shelter opens, fewer people will be wandering the streets at night. Police have also suggested some design plans for the building, including extra fencing around the outdoor area.
"It provides both some privacy for the guests and also some security for those that might want to misuse some of the rules in terms of passing materials back and forth," Klein said.
Alcohol is banned inside, but intoxicated clients won't be kept out of the building.
"You need a way to take care of those who have been imbibing in some way, but once they're on the grounds here that will not be allowed," Klein said.
Even after the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House is open at the beginning of next year, security will be an issue that is consistently addressed.
"We've already stepped up our foot and bike patrols in these areas, and as this facility is more active, we'll continue our efforts in that area as well," Barthel said.
Additional security measures also include extra lighting and locking certain doors within the facility. There will also be more neighborhood meetings before the shelter opens to address any lingering security concerns.