• June 2020

Glory House completes Community Appeal campaign

By Mike Lynch
Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

For the growing number of our population who have struggled with the gripping effects of incarceration or addiction, finding a road to recovery and reentry into society is typically a steep path, which can seldom be done alone. The Glory House exists to empower people for this journey.

For over 50 years, the Glory House has provided a variety of services, including case management and counseling, and recently opened Phase 1 of Glory House Apartments to the public. This new housing option provides safe, sober and affordable workforce housing to members of the community who need a supportive setting with proximity to services like those provided by Glory House.

The two-phase project has been made possible thanks in large part to a Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Community Appeals campaign that that ended March 31, 2020 and raised over $1.1 million.

Board Chair Eric Gulden said that the amount raised is a bright spot in a tough time, crediting all the staff and volunteers that worked hard to make contacts. “A big thank you to our campaign Co-Chairs Kent Alberty, Greg Sands and Jim Schmidt who provided great leadership and credibility to the campaign,” said Gulden. “Given our history of fundraising, this was a fantastic outcome and has opened a lot of doors for a future donor base that can support the mission for years to come.”

In a unique display of benevolence, one large contribution to the campaign came from a former client of Glory House who is now the owner of a large and successful business that is a “second-chance employer.”

The campaign had two major themes: human compassion for persons who have traumatic backgrounds and need a second chance, and pragmatic benefits like workforce development, tax savings and community safety. As clients of the justice system receive the counseling and support they need, it interrupts the revolving door of release, re-offense and re-incarceration and ends their being a financial burden; conversely, they become taxpayers themselves.

“Family stability, community safety, taxpayer savings and workforce development are all enhanced by the construction of Glory House Apartments,” stated Dave Johnson, president of Glory House. “Supportive housing, with counseling and case management services available next door at Glory House can help these tenants to continue their recovery and be productive citizens of our community.”

The housing project aligns very well with Glory House’s goals to provide an extra safety net for vulnerable persons who need additional support to maintain their sobriety and succeed in life. Whether they were enrolled in a Glory House program or came from elsewhere in the community, they can earn the self-respect that comes with paying their own rent on a place that is clean and safe. For some residents, it is the first time they have a place to call “home.”

The Glory House staff and volunteers are grateful for the support from members of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Glory House Development Coordinator Allan Saugstad said that it is widely understood that the Chamber has a rigorous process for approval, which gave the campaign immediate credibility.

“The Chamber’s help was paramount in scheduling and publicizing our groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting for Phase 1, supporting our campaign kick-off, providing contact information for Chamber members and sending our introductory letter to all Chamber members,” Saugstad said. “Chamber board and staff also gave timely, practical guidance beginning well before the campaign and during each step in the process. We were delighted to learn that some businesses budget for these campaigns each year, and a few had even written out their check before our volunteer arrived!”

Campaign Co-Chair Kent Alberty said that acquiring affordable, safe, drug and alcohol-free housing is one of the last hurdles to cross for anyone who is transitioning back into the community. “Jobs and transportation are available in the Sioux Falls area, and the addition of these housing units helps to complete the circle of support for people in recovery.”

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