Cornerstone Mission turns 35 years old

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The Cornerstone Mission in downtown Rapid City turned 35 on Monday.

The mission, which started in 1982 as a soup kitchen has since grown to operate multiple shelters, an apartment complex, and a thrift store to assist Rapid City's homeless population.

Lysa Allison, executive director of the Cornerstone Mission, said the shelter aids Rapid City citizens who may be on the brink of homelessness.

“About 11 percent of our population lives in poverty,” Allison said. “It doesn’t mean necessarily that they’re homeless, but they’re struggling, or they can be a paycheck or two away from being homeless. If we can help out by providing meals so they can continue to work, we're more than happy to do that.”

For some like Greg Dooley who struggle to find consistent shelter, the mission provides much needed relief.

“It's important for them to have this place [the mission] to get in and out of the cold, and to provide three square meals a day,” Dooley said. “It provides shelter for someone who's homeless, gives them a place to sleep, a place to shower."

During the celebration, students from St. Thomas More Elementary, St. Thomas More High School, and St. Elizabeth Seaton Elementary presented donated underwear for the long winter ahead.

The 35th anniversary marked the start of National Hunger Week and Homeless Awareness Week.

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