Early snowfall causes troubles for Rapid City homeless

While you rushed to pull out your winter coat from the closet, the homeless were trying to find clothes.
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:16 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Snow in September. We were all warned, but not everyone can avoid it.

For some, the first sight of snowfall may be fun. But for others, it’s a problem.

“A lot of folks as they were coming up to get their lunch they were wearing shorts and T-shirts,” Melanie Timm, Hope Center’s executive director, said. “They just did not have the resources available to have a coat or long pants.”

Like usual, Timm was walking around the Rapid City Skate Park on New York Street Monday to pass out meals.

But the main topic of conversation was all about the weather, as the snow and rain continued to fall on the homeless.

The next day clusters of people gathered at the Hope Center seeking help.

“Their shoes and socks were soaking wet and very very cold,” Timm said.

She said more shelter space is needed in Rapid City, and that’s where the Cornerstone Rescue Mission comes in.

While the shelter “did not see a lot come in,” according to Lysa Allison, executive director of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, she said, “we had a few intakes more than we normally would but not a lot. I would expect a few more tonight.”

The shelter is still currently at limited capacity, with 30% fewer people due to pandemic concerns.

But as the shelter continues to make arrangements to reunite the homeless with their families to get them off the streets, the shelter plans to reopen fully in the next month or two.

“We are not going to have anybody out in the cold,” Allison said.

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