Annual homeless count happening in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. – On Tuesday, Volunteers of America hosted the annual Rapid City homeless count. All-day volunteers surveyed people both sheltered and unsheltered to find out more about their living situation.

Over 100 volunteers came together to survey, give out self-care bags, and help feed those in need.

The bags consisted of winter clothes and hygiene products. A large chunk of those bags were packed by a local hockey team, the Lady Thunder. The team has been part of the count and packing for the past couple of years.

“I feel like its very eye-opening to the struggles that are in our current city that you don’t realize your community needs help until you’re out there seeing the people on their struggling moments,” says player, Mersadez Highstrom.

Several local organizations are involved in the count, including local shelters and law enforcement. Those that are not in shelters and found on the street are surveyed face-to-face.

The person-in-need fills out a survey sheet and from there it is digitalized and put into a computer program. The program helps get an accurate count and prevents volunteers from counting one person twice.

“I really hope that we get a more accurate count. I’m really grateful that the sun is shining because hopefully, that will help us get a lot of our individuals to feeds and be able to get them surveyed,” said coordinator with Volunteers of America, Sara Hornick.

Throughout the count, there are several feeds at Cornerstone, Volunteers of America, and Sioux Park.  

There will also be a gathering on Sunday where they will give out coats for those who need them. You can find more information at this link .

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News