Multi-million dollar gift helping Children’s Inn expand

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A multi-million dollar donation benefitting Children’s Inn is going to help even more victims of domestic abuse in Sioux Falls get the resources they need to get back on their feet.

Children’s Inn has been helping victims of domestic abuse, child abuse and sexual assault since 1977. What started in a small, two-bedroom home has expanded considerably.

“Then we expanded into a four-bedroom home in 1979 and then by 1991, we had outgrown our four-bedroom home, so we moved to our current location,” Amy Carter, director of operations for Children’s Inn said. At that time, we had 14 bedrooms. We did a little expansion back in 2005 and so we currently have 24 bedrooms.”

Now it’s time for the non-profit to expand even more.

“We received a really generous gift from T. Denny Sanford in 2019 to build a new building because we, the need has grown in our community for services for domestic violence victims, particularly shelter services,” Carter said. “So, we are in the planning process and we were fortunate enough to get the land purchased just this last week.”

The land they purchased is currently a snow-covered track next to the Empower Campus on East 10th street. Eventually, the new building for Children’s Inn will go on the back end of this area on the corner of East 8th street and Saint Paul Avenue.

“We are hoping to have around 32 to 38 bedrooms with about 96 beds. And currently we have 40 beds, so we’re over doubling the number of actual beds. But what we’re able to do with the new location is have more beds within an actual bedroom to really accomodate those larger families that we’re seeing as well. So, lots of flexibility that we just don’t have in our current location,” Carter said.

T. Denny Sanford donated $55 million to the Children’s Home Society. $11 million of that went to the Children’s Inn to purchase the new land and eventually build the new building.

“What the money doesn’t do, unfortunately, is help with our operational expenses that we know will grow,” Carter said. “With a larger facility we’re going to need more staff and just more operational expenses. So, we’re currently in the planning and fundraising stage for that piece of the project.”

It’s still early in the planning process for Children’s Inn, so a timeline and expense budget haven’t fully been developed yet, but they’ll need some help raising money.

“We’ll be kicking off our fundraising campaign, we aren’t quite there yet, but right now, what people can do, is contribute to Children’s Inn,” Carter said. “We have an endowment, that endowment really is something that we, the interest from that endowment will allow us to sustain our facility for years and years to come.”

Children’s Inn could still use help with donations to keep their current facility running as well.

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