Homeless count is underway in Rapid City - KOTA Territory News

Homeless count is underway in Rapid City

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How many people are homeless in Rapid City? To figure that out there is a homeless count currently underway. It will take into account sheltered and unsheltered people.

Alan Provost and his family regularly come to the Cornerstone Rescue Mission. They've been homeless since July.  

"We came to the shelter to try to get some help or whatever. They've been helping us out ever since. We currently got a motel room. Basically we come down here to eat," said Provost.

Provost also came to the Cornerstone Rescue Mission on Tuesday to participate in the homeless count survey. The Black Hills Homeless Coalition is coordinating the count, which is required by the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

"We provide those number to the state which they give them to HUD and it figures out how much funding comes to our state to provide services to homeless individuals," said Sara Hornick, Western Regional Director of Lutheran Social Services.

Hornick says funding is necessary.  

"Without that funding it's really hard to serve the homeless in our area and it's also good for the state and the nation to know what are the numbers of the homeless in our area," she said.

Recently more guests have been coming into the Hope Center. Megan Reuwsaat, Client Advocate and Directors Assistant at the Hope Center says homelessness should be a concern in the community.  

"Homelessness is more prevalent than we realize and it's just important that we really come to know this issue and that we understand the different barriers that they face," said Reuwsaat.

Besides having the count at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission and the Hope Center, people with the Black Hills Homeless Coalition were knocking on hotel doors this evening.  

"Asking about their lives, how they got here, their future plans, so it's incredibly important and it's really giving the face to the homeless," said Hornick.

As for provost, he is thankful for all the help he's received.

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