WAVI is helping victims of abuse get back on their feet to find a permanent residence

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Working Against Violence Incorporated – or WAVI – in Rapid City, has faced pandemic obstacles when helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

A major issue is giving the victims a long-term safe place to stay. Clients seeking emergency shelter have been facing additional hurdles when it comes to finding long term housing and employment. Victims typically shelter with WAVI for two to three weeks, but during the pandemic, the stays have been two months or longer.

Kristina Simmons, Development Director for WAVI, said, “What we’re seeing is a trend, a different trend within the people that are staying here. Their need for services, they’re more complex, they’re a little bit more in depth so it does take more time. We’ve had people that have needed to stay up to six months, we’ve had people stay a few nights though that’s becoming more rare.”

WAVI has 13 rooms with 36 beds, which makes space limited, but they won’t turn anyone away who fits the criteria for shelter.

“Each case is unique and it’s really what their needs are at that time. We’re gonna help meet those immediate needs as far as food and shelter. Could be clothing, could be school supplies, those things so that they can focus on those long term goals and get out of that crisis mode,” Simmons said.

WAVI is open 24-hours a day and is currently helping clients in shelter get their COVID-19 vaccine, but it is not a requirement in order to stay at WAVI.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News