RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The first winter storm of the season hit Rapid City Wednesday night, and the Cornerstone Rescue Mission was prepared for people to sleep on the floor, but the mission actually had eight free beds.
Cornerstone Rescue Mission has 58 beds available, and last night 8 were empty. (KOTA)
Lysa Allison is the Executive Director for Corner Stone Rescue Mission in Rapid City.
"We're housing a lot more people, we're helping people find friends and families to go to, we're reuniting families, so we've been able to really reduce the homeless population," said Allison.
Although Allison says improvement is being seen, there is still a continuous need for housing...
I talked to a family who has been homeless for over a year, and last night in the snow they ended up sleeping behind a loading dock in sleeping bags.
"Slept on a dock, with a couple sleeping bags and some blankets. It was cold, frigid... it started snowing on us, we woke up with snow on us ."
Typically Cornerstone Rescue Mission does not allow people to sleep on the floor anymore, but the cold weather does allow for some exceptions.
"Even though we had said we would not go over the 58-bed capacity, I've had some conversations with some people in the community that if it got to the point where all of our beds were full during the blizzards or storms we would allow people to sleep on the floor."
The Rapid City Police Department said if you see someone homeless in the cold and think they might be in danger, contact the police department or call 911 if it looks like an emergency.