First “homeless connect” event in two years creates one-stop shop for homeless resources

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Local agencies are coming together for the first time in two years to help the less fortunate..

The Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition on Thursday hosted a homeless connect event in Rapid City at the old Albertsons building on Omaha Street.

The event bringing together dozens of community resources under one roof. It wasn’t held last year because of the pandemic.

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Things got busy as soon as the doors opened, with folks taking advantage of the one-stop opportunity.

“You think about 20 agencies being here…normally a person would have to make 20 appointments to see everyone they need resources from. And this way, they can do it all in one day,” said Jeanne Burckhard-Mckenna, Black Hills Special Services Cooperative.

Thursday’s event was a valuable opportunity – not only for the agencies to engage with people who are struggling – but also with each other.

“It’s also good for all of us. It really gets all the non-profit agencies, the community resource agencies together. We actually get to see each other again and visit. And it’s a great group of people, and we need to get together too,” Burckhard-Mckenna said.

Services offered at the homeless connect event included a hot meal (provided by the Salvation Army) and a bag of food items from Feeding South Dakota.

Those in attendance were required to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

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