A week from next Monday, the new executive director of the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House shelter in Sioux Falls will have her first day in her new position. Madeline Shields will come from The Banquet, located just a short walk away, where the less fortunate are able to get a meal. Dave Morris has been a guest recently at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.
“The option of being homeless on the street and have to struggle for a place to stay warm, dry … or even a safe place to sleep, as opposed to having someplace there, where pretty well structured,” Morris said.
“The people who eat at The Banquet, many times they are housed at the Bishop Dudley House,” Shields said. “And so really I know these guests.”
Right now Shields is director of development and marketing at The Banquet, but come September 9 she’ll be executive director at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, where Daryl Thuringer is chairman of the board of directors.
“We had some really great applicants, but her familiarity with the community, with the guests, and just the process, really stood out among the rest of them,” Thuringer said.
“I’ve been at The Banquet for 14 years, and I’m grateful to have had that position for so very long, and I love the guests, and I think this was an opportunity that I had to check out, and I am just blessed that I was chosen,” Shields said.
Shields stood out, Thuringer says, by knowing people.
“She can name guests by name, she knows their situation, she knows how to help them,” Thuringer said.
“People are people, and I will continue to treat people as when I meet someone, whether they come through The Banquet or if I meet them out in the public somewhere else, or at the Dudley House,” Shields said. “We are called to treat people with dignity and respect, and that’s where every relationship and every meeting will start.”
“I think one of the gifts that Madeline brings is tough love,” Thuringer said. “She knows how to love, care, compassion, but also be able to hold people accountable.”
Asked about current challenges for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, Thuringer brings up money.
“Finances are always a challenge for us- we’re a nonprofit,” Thuringer said. “The majority of our money is through fundraising.”
He also mentions community relations.
“Making sure that people in the community fully understand who we are and what we do,” Thuringer said.
Dan Santella: Do you think the community understands that?
“I think some of the community understands the need that is met by the Bishop Dudley House; I’m not sure everyone does,” Thuringer said. “And that’s our job, and we will do a better job, and that’ll be something that Madeline Shields as executive director will be wonderful at helping.”
“I promise to do the best I can to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Shields said. “We need to take care of the people who cannot take care of themselves, and that is what I will continue to speak about, and I will ask folks to join me in this effort.”
Thuringer says that coming up, the organization will look at additional offerings.
“We have a lot of partners that come and supply services and meet with guests here,” Thuringer said. “What are some more providers that could come and provide services: mental health services, addiction therapy, job counseling, education.”
Shields’ experience at The Banquet allows her to take lessons to her new role nearby.
“That everyone matters- everyone is important, everyone deserves dignity and respect, no matter where they are in their life,” Shields said.
As for Morris, he appreciates the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.
“You know you can sleep at night, lay your head down without too many worries,” Morris said. “It’s clean, it’s dry, and it avoids a lot of other issues.”
“There needs to be a hand to help you stand up, and that’s what we are here for at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House,” Shields said.