‘Night’ fundraiser brings attention to growing number of homeless veterans, women, and children in Rapid City

Rapid City law enforcement officials, as well as Mayor Steve Allender, gathered with...
Rapid City law enforcement officials, as well as Mayor Steve Allender, gathered with Cornerstone officials and volunteers to discuss solutions, and raise awareness.(Nick Nelson)
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It’s been more than three years since city and civic leaders began to gather publicly to discuss the issue of homelessness and how it impacts Rapid City. Monday night, those leaders got together at the Main Street fire station to talk-about what can be done.

The primary topic of discussion at Monday night’s fundraiser organized by the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, was the growing number of Women, Children, and Veterans who are homeless in the Rapid City community.

Rapid City law enforcement officials, as well as Mayor Steve Allender, gathered with Cornerstone officials and volunteers to discuss solutions, and raise awareness.

Allender said that a united front of private and public resources is necessary to address the issue, even after he’s out of office.

“This is something that is trending in many communities across the nation, and it’s a really hard thing,” Allender said. “This is going to take public support and public dollars, as well as private funding to help get a handle on things.”

Volunteers at Cornerstone say that there aren’t enough volunteers to even provide three meals a day at their Main Street facility.

Cornerstone Board President Dr. Mark Harlow said that he hopes the event motivates people to give their time and resources to provide for the needy in Rapid City.

“We do very much rely on volunteers to help us with our meal program,” Harlow said. “In years past, if you looked at a calendar day by day, virtually every day in the month would be accounted for by a church, business, or family, and after COVID, that all changed.”

According to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, there are more than 200 women and children, as well as more than a dozen veterans, who are homeless this year alone in Rapid City.