Today we are sitting down with Mary Shuford, Capital Campaign Director, to chat about the big Maggie’s news that broke in The Dallas Morning News in early November: Developer KDC is building for an East Dallas nonprofit; The Magdalen House building will open in 2021. When we first started talking about a new house a few years ago, we weren’t surprised when women in our community started asking, “So when is Maggie’s getting the new house?!”
Since that day we have been working diligently with some really dedicated partners like KDC, Omniplan, and BufordHawthorne to answer that question. Today, we are overjoyed to answer that question with a long awaited, enthusiastic, “2021! 😍”
An Interview with Mary Shuford, Capital Campaign Director
Some people have been asking us, “Why a new house?” and “Why will the new house be in a new location?” Can you share why is Maggie’s getting a new address after so many years in the current location?
I totally get it. This place is really special to thousands of women in recovery, including myself. 1302 Redwood Circle has been a constant in my own life for the last 10+ years, but the reality is that we’ve grown out of this house. We need a larger facility to better serve our clients and our community, and we need a space that’s going to last for decades to come. We considered keeping our same address, but when we learned that the house would have to be demolished, and services would be suspended, there was no way we could take that route.
What will the advantages of the new, bigger house mean for Maggie’s?
Our new location keeps us in the Old East Dallas neighborhood we love so much, while adding much needed space, and bringing us closer to several of our Community Outreach partners. Most importantly, we are increasing capacity of our programming. With an additional bedroom, we will be able to provide crisis care to 20 alcoholic women at a time through our in-house Social Detox Program, which is a 40% increase from our current capacity of 14. Plus, with a community space that is twice the size of our current meeting room, we will be able to hold double the number of women at our classes, meetings, and workshops. Plus, small things like a bigger kitchen for cooking meals, a dining table large enough to seat everyone in the house, extra bathrooms, and larger living spaces… things that our current house just doesn’t have because it wasn’t built for 14+ women.
Some people are worried that Maggie’s will change now that it’s in this new location. Can you speak to this?
Maggie’s is really special, and there’s something indescribable about this place. None of us want to lose this “magic,” and so we’re intentionally making decisions to keep The Magdalen House authentically Maggie’s. The warm, home-like feeling of The Magdalen House is something that we know our clients really value, which is exactly why we capped our in-house capacity at 20. The fact that we’ve been around for 32 years tells us that something is really working, so our programming isn’t changing – it will continue to be Big Book based, peer-implemented by volunteers, and open to any alcoholic woman in recovery. We may be leaving behind the stained carpets and questionable pink tile bathroom, but it will still feel authentically “Maggie’s.”
What’s the status of the project right now?
We own the property on Gaston, and when we received permitting in early October the teams started work on construction. It’s really exciting to be in the construction phase and see the physical progress on a project that has been on paper for so long. I’m really, really excited and I know the team feels the same – we’re starting to see our dream become a reality!
How can people get involved?
If I can be frank, what we really need is funding to meet our goal of $3.4 million to finish out this project. Thanks to several generous foundations, individuals, and the paddle raise at this year’s Leave a Legacy Dinner, we’ve been able to reach $2,789,971 (as of November 20, 2019) but that leaves us with $410,029 left to raise. Absolutely no gift is too small, because every dollar makes an impact.
We just launched our 2019 end of year giving campaign: Home for the Holidays and you can participate in so many ways, including: