SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Homeless families could receive temporary shelter on North Western Avenue in Sioux Falls in a joint project between two non-profits.
When the former Children’s Inn moved from 409 N. Western Ave. to a location off 10th Street it left a building next to Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP).
ICAP had run out of space and had offices housed throughout Sioux Falls, chief executive officer Eric Kunzweiler said.
Meanwhile, in downtown Sioux Falls, the Bishop Dudley House had been looking at the possibility of different temporary family housing locations.
The two partners found each other in large part because ICAP had received federal money that could be used for the former Children’s Inn building and a type of homeless non-congregate temporary housing.
ICAP offers head start, housing rehabilitation, weatherization of houses, 60s plus dining, rental assistance and other programs but it does not operate shelters.
“It’s a really rare project for those involved. All the stars lined up,” Kunzweiler said.
Madeline Shields, the executive director of the Bishop Dudley House, said the project fills a need for larger temporary housing for families.
Bishop Dudley has seven temporary housing units now that are about the size of a motel room that has two queen beds.
Families are already dealing with the stress of being homeless, shelter in the space of motel room adds to the stress, Shields said.
The plan is to convert the multiple rooms used for temporary housing for victims of violence into larger units for homeless families, Kunzweiler said.
The plan is early in the process but it includes 10 temporary family suites.
The project would provide more space for homeless families but also a better space, Shields and Kunzweiler said.
Kunzweiler said the new suites in the building on Western Avenue will “get kids away from the general population (of homeless).”
Bishop Dudley has served homeless families for about eight years. “Now, it’s time to take the step…,” Shields said.
The former Children’s Inn building will house ICAP offices. It will also allow ICAP to expand weatherization offices in Sioux Falls, Kunzweiler said.
ICAP owns the building. Kunzweiler said. Working with the Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety (Children’s Inn) also made the purchase price more affordable, Kunzweiler said.
ICAP will own the building. Bishop Dudley will pay utilities and operations including the staff it will provide for the families, Shields said.
The project is still in the early stages, she said.
Most of the homeless families served by Bishop Dudley have jobs, she said. Some are homeless because the landlord sold a building or a house and the families had nowhere to move.
Bishop Dudley has case managers that work with homeless families. The goal is to move families from the shelter in 45 to 60 days, Shields said.
The Sioux Falls homeless task force cited a need for a shelter for homeless families in its recommendations to the city. It mentioned the ICAP and Bishop Dudley House project at the former Children’s Inn building.