Director’s Corner: Meeting Multiple Needs
January 27, 2016
By Kevin Ludwig
One of the unique features of the Sioux Falls Ministry Center is its “ministry mall” concept. It’s a concept that was one of the building blocks when the center’s visionaries were formulating this ministry. The visionaries wanted a centrally-located building where people in need could go to get multiple needs met.
The concept makes a lot of sense. There are eight different ministries in the building, each providing various forms of assistance designed to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs of our guests.
I have heard stories of how staff members at one ministry refer a guest to another ministry, but I have never had that opportunity myself until recently.
Early one afternoon as I made my rounds of the building, I met a gentleman outside of The Community Outreach. The office was closed as it was during the lunch hour. When I asked if I could assist in any way, the gentleman responded very openly and cordially.
He was a 54-year-old man who recently moved to Sioux Falls from Sturgis. He said he felt the need to move in order to get away from the “wrong crowd.” He mentioned that he was staying at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House and had just accepted a job at the McDonald’s by I-90. He told me that he was referred to The Community Outreach to get a 30-day bus pass so he could get to work.
I told him that The Community Outreach was the right place for him and that they provide bus passes for work transportation. I proceeded to ask him if he had a bicycle, to which he replied he did not have one. So I encouraged him to stop by the Center of Hope to look at bicycles in the Bike to Work Ministry. He said that a bike would be a definite option for him when the weather warmed up and he had a chance to save some money.
During our conversation he expressed that he was a recovering alcoholic who hadn’t had a drink in nearly a year. That was part of the reason why he moved to Sioux Falls. He said his friends in Sturgis weren’t the best influence on him.
Even though he told me he was attending some AA meetings, I informed him that New Haven Ministries offered Restoration Treatment Services. In case he ever needed to talk to someone he could call New Haven and speak to someone who is trained in dealing with addiction recovery.
Lastly, he shared that he was looking for a church within walking distance of the Bishop Dudley House. I told him about a few churches in the area, but when I told him that there was a congregation that offered a “come as you are” worship service in the Community Room on Sunday evenings, his face lit up. He was excited to attend the service.
As I sat at my desk I was blown away by what had happened. In the span of about 15 minutes I shared with a guest four ways in which he could have his physical, spiritual, emotional and financial needs met.
While I don’t know if this man will utilize all of the services I shared with him, it was very reassuring to see the vision of the Sioux Falls Ministry Center come to fruition before my very eyes.