Rapid City sees an increase in the homeless population

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It's a list where no one wants to be number one.

Sign at the Cornerstone

According to the Housing and Urban Development's most recent homeless assessment report, South Dakota had the largest percent increase in homelessness in the nation at twenty-three percent.

"We've definitely seen an increase of homelessness especially over the last couple of years," says Cornerstone Rescue Mission Executive Director Lysa Allison. "Well we have more numbers, more people needing items coming in, more people in the soup kitchen, we have a lot more people just showing up and even needing cold-weather gear."

The increase caused the Cornerstone Rescue Mission to open a new women's shelter last July.

"We have waiting lists for that facility. We have waiting lists for the men's mission," says Allison. "The need continues to grow, but we are just one small agency and we put a call out for the community and city leaders to be prepared for the winter when we are not able to sustain these numbers any longer."

Since Cornerstone Rescue Mission is filling up and the beds have waiting lists, other resources, such as the Care Campus, are taking the overflow on a nightly basis.

"There's more resources in place today in Rapid City for homeless then there has ever been in the history of Rapid City and it's only going to grow over time out of necessity," says Mayor Steve Allender.

In the 2020 budget, Rapid City is pledging $5 million toward the completion of the One Heart Campus which provides transitional housing.