Local ministries care for homeless population
Rapid City, SD — As of January 2019, a little less than 1,000 South Dakotan residents were homeless with over a quarter of that population residing in Rapid City. Several locals groups are at work finding solutions to the problem, and of them, two ministries from Rapid City have taken on the responsibility of caring for the homeless and less fortunate.
To aid in the fight against homelessness, the Christian ministries Jesus Hands and Feet and RV ministry hold feedings every Saturday and Sunday. Although not affiliated with the First United Methodist Church, Jesus’ Hands and Feet meets every Saturday at 11 a.m. in front of the church to provide lunch to those in need, and usually services between 60 and 150 people weekly.
Debbie Malott has been volunteering with the organization for around a year and invites people to join in the fight against homelessness and hunger.
“Take a Saturday, come serve in the winter time. These folks need coats, hats, shoes, gloves, backpacks, any of these kinds of things. You’re always free to hop on the page find out the day Century 21 is maybe serving, drop it off at our office and we’ll make sure we get it to them.”
To round out the weekend, RV Ministries serves breakfast for close to 200 people every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. The ministry originally started in a mobile home, and now holds weekly breakfast at the Boys Club. Along with providing a warm meal, provides transportation, clothing, and helps people take the next step in overcoming homelessness. For some that may include obtaining legal documents such as birth certificates and social security numbers.
While it is easy to turn a blind eye to those in need, volunteers find that what they do has impacts beyond just those being served. Malott says,
“I was just telling somebody this morning, it’s a double blessing. It blesses us to be able to feed them and it blesses them to be able to come here and eat. So, it’s a win win.”