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Rapid City to create ‘transformation campus’ for homeless

November 3, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Officials have identified a preferred site for a campus to serve people who are homeless in Rapid City.

The concept is being described as a transformation campus that would provide transitional housing, addiction treatment, counseling and job training. Community organizations providing those services will be encouraged to relocate to the campus or have a presence there, the Rapid City Journal reported .

“We want to remove barriers, get basic needs met and invest right away in getting people as independent as they can be so they can become productive, thriving members of the community rather than spending resources on them over and over and not helping them get anywhere,” said Charity Doyle, the project manager.

The preferred site focuses on nearly 4 acres situated on the edge of downtown Rapid City, said Rapid City Collective Impact, a program of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. The program announced Thursday that the land and buildings at the site are former National American University property now owned by corporations registered to local developer Hani Shafai.

Doyle said talks are underway to acquire the property with private and city funds. She said Shafai plans to construct new buildings for some of the displaced tenants.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender called the proposed site “outstanding” and expressed support for a potential financial contribution from the city.

“I think it’s logical for the city to play some part in this type of investment in the community,” he said. “But all the details have yet to be worked out.”

Doyle said the campus will be a good neighbor to the residential areas it will border.

“These are not trouble-making people,” she said. “These are people that are just battling poverty in our community.”

Doyle expects the campus to open by March 2019.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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