City of Rapid City seeking approval for $2 million program

The program would aim to solve key community issues, like helping runaway youths in a traumatic environment.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The City of Rapid City is applying for a $2 million grant for a program that would focus on Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention.

The grant would be from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance and would create a three year program that wouldn’t require a city match.

Roughly six positions would be created with the grant. City officials say the program will create opportunities for the city and the Rapid City Police Department’s commitment to creating long term solutions.

“The Rapid City Police Department has been a leading entity in the efforts to reduce violence and create community capacity to break some of these cycles, so we’ve seen as I said before, great progress in the in the investment of these community driven initiatives,” said Lila Mehlhaff, the Human Services Coordinator for the City of Rapid City.

Melhaff says the program and positions will also focus on solving a key issue in the community, runaway youths.

City Of Rapid City Grant 2

She says that Journey On, a non-profit that has answered over 50 percent of RCPD’s homeless calls, is something they’re looking at using to help at risk youth who’ve faced trauma.

“They are, you know, credible messengers,” Melhaff said. “So Journey On has people who are culturally similar, so to speak, to some of the people that they’re working with in the homeless community. And we’re just hoping to be able to also kind of replicate that with our youth.”

The legal and finance committee will consider the request Wednesday at City Hall.

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