Bishop Dudley Hospitality House Opens

Neighbors Still Have Concerns About Facility

Less than a year ago, plans for a new kind of homeless shelter in Sioux Falls were unveiled. Now the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House is taking in their first guests. But some nearby neighbors still have mixed feelings about the shelter.

Business owners, elected officials, and neighbors are coming together to celebrate the official opening of the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

“When I walked into this cold, empty building for the first time I wondered what it would take to turn it into what you see today. Was it even possible?” said Bishop Paul Swain, Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.

It’s clear that vision was indeed possible thanks to the generous donations from members of the community.

“Our fundraising goal was $4.58 million,” said Bishop Swain.

That goal has been surpassed, and now the brand new facility is welcoming guests. But first, those who helped make the shelter possible are getting a tour.

“I just think every aspect is wonderful,” said Mary Treiber, Sioux Falls.

With an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, the Bishop Dudley House hardly feels like a homeless shelter.

“The way it’s put together. It’s very simple but very, very nice. Very comforting,” said Treiber.

While most people are celebrating the opening of the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, there’s one business less than two blocks away that has a different take on the new facility.

“We’ll wait and see if the proof is in the pudding,” said Scott Thorson, ‘Welcome Mat’ Laundromat owner.

Thorson says he supports the shelter, but has doubts about whether it will address the alcoholic homeless issue in the area.

“We’ve had people passed out on the floor, we’ve had people lock themselves in the bathroom,” said Thorson.

Thorson fears more of the alcoholic homeless population will move to this area because of the Bishop Dudley House.

“Then we will have more incidents here of alcohol, and drinking and pan handling just because there’s more people of that nature around,” said Thorson.

If that happens, it would ultimately hurt Thorson’s business.

“Hopefully a certain segment of the population gets a lot of help out of this,” said Thorson.

Although 1,000 corporations and individuals have made contributions to the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, they are still asking people to consider volunteering at the new shelter.

The new shelter offers both day and night services for men, women and children.