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HUD Housing Program Helps Disabled

November 16, 2011, 5:05 PM by Perry Groten

HUD Housing Program Helps Disabled
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A federally-funded program to fix-up blighted neighborhoods in Sioux Falls is also putting a new roof over the heads of those with disabilities.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program has provided more than $3 million to build dozens of housing units for low-income families in Sioux Falls. The program also covered the entire cost of building a six-unit home for people with disabilities at DakotaAbilities.

Mark Samis' living space at DakotAbilities has lots of mementoes about space.

"Since the space program started in May 1961, I've been following the space program," Samis said.

Samis strives to live as independently as possible despite being visually-impaired.

"I use this walking stick, what I call 'Junior,' that's the name I gave it," Samis said.

Samis is one of six people who live at the DakotAbilities home located on South Spring Avenue.

"I really like it here. The staff is really friendly here. The staff is really nice here. They respect my privacy," Samis said.

$600,000 in federal funds through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program went to build this DakotAbilities facility.

"Out of this home, they are able to go out to concerts, events, be part of a family that they probably wouldn't have been a part of, had that money not been available," DakotAbilities Client Service Director Joe Dvorak said.

Additional funding through NSP is going to build a seven-unit DakotaAbilities home at 5th and Cliff. That means more clients can enjoy living on their own, Just like Samis.

"Every time I turn around here, I'm going someplace," Samis said.

The new DakotAbilities home is expected to be completed next spring. It will also employ a staff of 8 to 10 workers.



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