Rapid City panhandling, how to help
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The homeless population in Rapid City makes up 33-percent of the entire states with over three hundred and fifty people and growing.
This is leading to more people seeking help from others.
Lysa Allison, Executive Director of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission says a lot of those who panhandle aren’t seen at the mission.
“Most people would probably tell you that there is an increase in the panhandling downtown, and it’s a couple of dollars for whatever they need. With Cornerstone Rescue Mission people automatically assume that everybody who is homeless and panhandles is our clients, and in reality they’re not,” says Allison. “My staff and I drive down Main Street Square and pass it quite often, and we don’t know who those folks are. I know I’ve seen more people holding up cardboard signs at the different intersections and I always want to say, ‘Go to the mission, we’ll help you! Go to the Mission!’”
The mission is a place for the homeless to turn to and be lent a hand.
“They can have a safe place to sleep, and they can have 3 meals a day. They can get some case management. We’ll make sure that they have have clothing, if they need clothing. If they need medical care, we’ll get them the medical care that they need,” says Allison.
There are giving meters downtown that look like parking meters that people can use to donate.
They are meant to stop panhandling by giving the revenue to the mission. Which is a guaranteed means of giving those who are homeless some help.
“People can choose to give to people, because people have big hearts in Rapid City, or they can choose to give to the giving meters. If they give to the giving meters, it goes to help organizations like Cornerstone Rescue Mission or the Hope Center. We’re both Organizations that really care about the homeless, and want to do what we can to assist them,” Allison says.
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