CISS is in need of help after recent flooding

Crisis Intervention Shelter Services, Inc. in Sturgis, the domestic and sexual violence shelter, was hit by the recent flooding and needs $7,000 for an excavation project to remain safe for residents.

STURGIS, S.D. — Crisis Intervention Shelter Services, Inc. has been helping victims from for the past 28 years. They provide shelter, but also anything else a victim may need — which may include protection orders, restraining orders, rental assistance, classes or counseling. Their goal is to support each victim in their choices and help give them independence and freedom.

CISS Booth

CISS Booth (Courtesy CISS)

CISS Booth

Erin Burke, CISS Shelter Manager, says, “But we ultimately want you to be able to do it on your own and just have that self-worth of being able to do it on your own. Because a lot of these women have been beaten down for years emotionally, physically, everything. They don’t think they can do it and then we really help boost their confidence.”

The shelter can house up to 25 residents at a time. For the staff at CISS, they have a passion for this type of work.

Burke says, “I can relate to them. I might not go into detail with them about my past, but it helps them know other people have gone through this and now look at you and what you’re doing and how you’re helping others.”

Ashley Adams, Executive Directer at CISS, says, “I want to help make a difference. And I want these men and women to know that they have somewhere to go and they have somebody that they can go to. And I want to help anyway that I can, and I feel like this is a topic that a lot of people don’t discuss. If I can help get this information out to the public, then I’m reaching my goal.”

CISSters Closet

My CISSters Closet (Courtesy CISS)

CISSters Closet

CISS staff says they do see an influx of victims — some from sex trafficking — during the Sturgis Rally, saying that Rally is their busiest time of year. Adams says, “I think the biggest thing about the rally is the alcohol that is involved and when you have alcohol involved they are in a new place, they don’t know where to go. So we work with the local law enforcement as well as business owners and if they see that situation — they know to refer them to us.”

A big financial contributor to the shelter is ‘My CISSters closet,’ a thrift store owned by CISS in which the proceeds go back into the shelter, and in some cases, furnishes victims new homes.

If you are interested in donation to the excavation project at CISS, click here. 

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News