RCPD push resources for homeless people during cold weather

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With the extreme cold, homeless people are some of the most vulnerable to frostbite.

To help combat this, the Rapid City Police Department is taking extra time to look under bridges and public bathrooms, among other places that homeless people might go to stay warm. The police department will even provide a ride to the HOPE Center or Cornerstone Rescue Mission if a bed is available. If all locations are full, the RCPD looks to see if a relative will allow the person to stay the night.

READ MORE: The Dangers of Frostbite

"If we come across anybody, we’re going to see if they need our help,” said Senior Officer Duane Baker. “We’re going to ask them if there’s anything we can do for them. We’re going to try and direct them towards the resources that we have. We’re going to be looking to see if we can get them over to like, the HOPE Center, the Mission if they’re not intoxicated. And if they are intoxicated, we’re going to look at getting them into detox, either a safe bed or placing them if they’re really bad."

The Cornerstone Rescue Mission is serving a large population now that the temperatures are colder.

"We don't turn anybody away in this cold weather,” said Deb Berg, the volunteer coordinator with the Cornerstone Rescue Mission. “We've got about 125 people staying with us every night. When we usually, in the summer, you know, have 90 or 100."

In addition to giving homeless people a place to stay, the Mission is providing hats, gloves, and coats. But they are in need of more and are asking the public for some help - especially with larger sizes. Cornerstone is also looking for backpacks to help homeless people carry their personal items.

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