A big project in the works right now could help more men and women who have spent time behind bars.
The Glory House is a transition home for people trying to re-enter the community.
The organization is preparing to build several affordable apartments on the site of the old Ice and Rec Center in Sioux Falls, which has been torn down.
It’s not hard to catch Joe Romero with a smile on his face.
“I’m very happy with who I am today,” Glory House Client Joe Romero said.
That’s after decades of dark times.
“Drinking and fighting, drinking and fighting, that’s my whole record,” Romero said.
The Glory House helped Romero change his story.
Today, he lives near the Glory house, something he considers helpful in his journey.
“If I have a relapse or something or thinking of relapsing, I’m right here talking to them. AA’s right there,” Romero said.
That’s part of the idea behind the affordable apartments slated to go up right next to the Glory House.
“We kept seeing people that did really well within our agency, but then they would get back in kind of that environment where they’d fall on their face so fast,” Glory House President Dave Johnson said.
You won’t have to be a Glory House client to become a tenant of the income-based units, but the president of the organization expects the apartments to be helpful to those who used to be incarcerated.
“It’s hard for them to find housing in certain places,” Johnson said.
Johnson hopes to see the first 24 units break ground this year.
People could start moving in as soon as April.
Then a capital campaign for the next 48 units will begin in November of 2019.
“Our clients, for the most part, they just want an opportunity to live a happier life, go to work, be responsible, be happy. That’s no different from anybody else,” Johnson said.
“I feel like I’m worth something now. They made me feel like I’m worth something,” Romero said.
The apartments will be owned by a subentity of the Glory House.
While much of the first 24 apartments will be financed or paid for with grants, the Glory House still needs to raise more than $97,000.
A GoFundMe account has been set up.