Second ‘Night at the Mission’ a fundraising success

Looming budget cuts, though, mean challenging times lay ahead for the Mission

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The second annual “Night at the Mission” wrapped up Friday morning. The event was a fundraising success, but with budget cuts in Rapid City’s future, the Cornerstone Rescue Mission faces some challenging times ahead.

Mayor Steve Allender has dinner with homeless guests at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission for the second "Night at the Mission". Photo Date: Sep. 20,2018

Mayor Allender enjoys dinner with homeless guests at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

Officials with the Mission said that the event raised just over $40,000 from sponsors that included Black Hills Energy, Dream Design, and NWE Management Company.

The event featured Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender alongside other city officials and Cornerstone staff as they joined the Mission’s homeless guests for dinner and an overnight stay.

But difficult times lay ahead for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

Beginning in 2017, Rapid City contributed $250,000 to the Mission’s operations after a contract with the Veteran’s Administration came to an end. That contribution was reduced to about $170,000 for 2018.

With the failure of a proposed increase in building permit fees, Rapid City faced a 2019 revenue reduction of $203,000.

To make up for the reduced revenue projection, the city cut funding for various services, including a $70,000 cut to Cornerstone’s subsidy in the 2019 city budget.

With that funding cut looming over Cornerstone’s finances next year, the Mission hopes that the mayor and other got to see the value in the services that may have to be cut next year.

“About 40 percent of our case management is people who walk in the door that are sent to us by social services agencies, city, county, and churches,” said Lysa Allison, executive director of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission. “We’re no longer going to be able to serve those people, and that will be difficult because we’ve always been kind of a go-to agency, and that’s not going to be able to happen anymore.”

Participants in the Night at the Mission were invited to spend the night in the parking lot with homeless guests to get a more realistic taste of life without a home.

Three chose to stay for the night: the Rapid City Fire Department’s Nick Carlson, Cornerstone Board President Dr. Mark Harlow, and Cornerstone staff member Justin Scofield.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News