Native group searches city for most vulnerable, provides safety and warmth for those in need
CAMP MNILUZAHAN, S.D. — With temperatures getting even colder, organizations have joined forces to keep vulnerable people safe.
Camp Mniluzahan, on Indian trust land just outside of Rapid City, continues to provide resources, safety, and warmth to anyone in need. Part of the concern over a homeless camp was how volunteers would protect residents from the elements and other dangers.
Volunteers ride through town each day in search of those in need and fill that need – whether that be shelter at Camp Mniluzahan or city shelters, warm clothing, or food.
The resources are always optional, as volunteers listen to the needs and wants of those they meet.
“We don’t force people to come here; we don’t force them to stay. But people can come and stay here as long as they want. So, it can become home; a lot of them call it home,” said Sunny Red Bear, Director of Racial Equity at NDN Collective.
The Camp is well equipped for the cold weather. Red Bear says the tee-pees and army weather tents have come in handy, and are stocked with wood stoves and heaters that connect to generators.
She adds there have been no issues keeping people warm, but says volunteers will take all the help and aid they can get to make it through the winter.