Rapid City’s emergency COVID-19 care shelter needs high demand to reopen

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:14 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, some may wonder what it would take to get Rapid City’s temporary emergency care shelter back up and running.

The shelter was designed to help the homeless population recover from COVID-19.

Mayor Steve Allender says it would take a rising demand.

When the demand is there and articulated by first responders and other community partners, Allender says they can look at the available resources.

And if those needs can’t be met, Allender says they will then consider establishing an emergency shelter again.

Allender says to his knowledge; there have not been recent talks about reinstituting the shelter.

“One of the things we learned from the last time the shelter was up is that the homeless have done far better with the disease than I would say than the non-homeless. Which I can’t understand, but that’s really the reality of it. They were down for a couple of days, and then you know chomping at the bit to get back outside,” says Allender.

The shelter was open for 67 days, and during that time, they saw 54 individuals, and most people they had in one day was 14.

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