RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — People who are homeless have a new place to turn for help in Rapid City.
OneHeart is a transitional facility that gives them tools to eventually move into a permanent home and get back on their feet. It opened earlier this month.
Rapid City Area School District employee Anita Deranleau is one of OneHeart’s 11 partners stationed at the facility.
“My role here at OneHeart is to help make sure that the kids can get to school, have the resources for they need for school, and are able to participate in school,” Deranleau said.
In its last count in August, the district counted 210 families who were experiencing homelessness. Deranleau says the stable home setting that OneHeart provides is especially important for families with kids.
“Because now they don’t have to worry, ‘I don’t have enough motel rent for one more day, where am I going to go?’ They don’t have to live with friends or family and not have their own place, not have their own sleeping arrangement. It’s really hard to focus on school when you don’t know where you’re going to be every night,” Deranleau said.
Charity Doyle is the executive director of the facility. She is happy with the first few weeks since opening and is excited for the future.
“The gratitude and the hope we are seeing in people as we are enrolling them these first few weeks has just been overwhelming in a really positive way.
OneHeart is currently home and hope for 11 families.
“How many of us get a roadmap to living life right? Not many of us do. And for this particular population that is really trying to take care of themselves and their families, it’s going to make all the difference in the world,” Doyle said.
For someone to be a participant at OneHeart, they must be referred by a certain kind of agency.