Black Hills Works passes $10 million fundraising goal

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Black Hills Works recently surpassed their fundraising goal of $10 million — all to assist people of different abilities in our community.

Black Hills Works is able to offer a variety of services to people with a wide range of abilities.

600 people are able to live successfully in the community with the help of the organization.

But, Medicaid funding is low in South Dakota and fundraising was started in 2014 to help continue programs.

$11.7 million was raised in close to five years.

“We had about a half-million dollar gap between what we are required to provide for Medicaid services for people with developmental disabilities in our community and what our actual costs were, so we have to find ways to close that gap,” said Brad Saathoff, CEO of Black Hills Works.

The money will be going partially toward providing housing to individuals with disabilities.

“Black Hills Works, we’re supporting people with developmental disabilities to live community based lives versus institutional lives, it’s pretty easy to make the argument that living outside of an institution is the best life,”said Saathoff. “To be able to do that requires good housing, affordable housing, accessible housing and that’s something that in our community and in our state is of really, really short supply.”

It will also be helping with adequate transportation needs and paying employees who work as aides.

“Transportation is very, very poorly funded through the Medicaid program,” said Saathoff. “And again, you can’t live a community based life if you can’t get around the community.”

The funds raised toward Black Hills Work’s goal was raised through private donations and grant funding.

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