Rapid City, SD
Home is where you make it. But for more than 1,000 families in Rapid City, finding an affordable place to live is nearly impossible.
"They are either living in subsidized housing or they are living in motels. We find that their incomes just aren't high enough," Teton Coalition Executive Director Leona Clubbs said.
"You see a lot of overcrowding in the rental sector and home ownership sometimes is just beyond their reach," Neighborworks Dakota Home Resources of the Black Hills' executive director Joy McCracken said.
Many families that don't have anywhere else to go end up staying at local motels and that's not cheap either. For families staying at the South Dakota Rose Inn a room for a month can cost up to $700.
That's where Genevieve Blaisdell and her family have been living since November, just a few doors down from where a man was murdered Monday.
"Everything is included, so that's helpful but it's like $350 for two weeks," Blaisdell said.
Her husband delivers newspapers and works odd jobs to make ends meet. She stays home with her three and five-year-old sons.
"I mean, if we found an apartment that would be great. Almost everything is included in the rent except phone, cable and Internet for $765 per month. But that's more than he makes at the newspaper office," Blaisdell said.
Blaisdell is on the waiting list for low-income housing, but with close to 2,000 people on the list that wait could take up to two years.
Organizations that help low-income families find homes hope the state's 2013 budget will include more housing help.
"In the long run, it saves our communities a lot of money because they put less money into police force, into juvenile delinquency programs," McCracken said.
In the meantime, it doesn't look like Blaisdell and the dozens of other families living at the motel will be leaving anytime soon.
"It's going to take us a little bit to get deposits and things like that," Blaisdell said.
The Teton Coalition for Affordable Housing and Neighborworks Dakota Home Resources are two of five organizations that help low-income people find homes in the Rapid City area.