SFS Joins Mayor’s Efforts to Revitalize Pettigrew Heights, Restore Hope (includes video clip)

SFS Joins Mayor’s Efforts to Revitalize Pettigrew Heights, Restore Hope (includes video clip)

May 7, 2008

Press Conference Photos
Summit House Information

On May 7, 2008, during a press conference with Mayor Dave Munson, Sioux Falls Seminary unveiled its plan to help restore a sense of pride to the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood and bring hope to its residents. To achieve this goal, the seminary has purchased the former Summit Oaks Center at 12th Street and Summit Avenue. The seminary will use the Summit Oaks building to provide its students with a unique, firsthand learning experience that will also benefit area residents.

The building, under the supervision of a resident director, will provide affordable housing to students who will, in return, spend a designated amount of time reaching out to and serving in Pettigrew Heights. The seminary and its students will determine their plan for service simply by listening to the needs of residents. Some outlets for service could include working with at-risk youth, providing counseling and therapy services, tutoring children, and helping former inmates transition back into society.

The goals of the project are to help restore a sense of pride and hope to Pettigrew Heights, to act as a bridge that connects churches, residents, city government, and the wider community, and to provide students with valuable hands on learning experiences. An advisory group is being assembled to help the project establish itself within the community. The first members of the group include Carolyn Downs, former director of The Banquet; Darrel Bartell, local realtor; Bill Bates, Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls; and Jason Klein, SFS Chief Financial Officer.

Over the last two years, Sioux Falls Seminary and its students have been investing significant time within Pettigrew Heights. The area has already been the setting for several classes including a homeless immersion experience. Next week, May 12-17, students will be devoting their time to help beautify the neighborhood by planting flowers and gardens as well as cleaning up yards. The weeklong effort is a follow up from when students winterized homes in October.