Mayor Starts Shelter Fundraiser After Budget Cuts

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An offhand comment by the Mayor of Rapid City has led to an ad hoc fundraising effort for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission in Rapid City.

The City’s share of the Cornerstone budget was cut by $70,000 in the recent city budget, and the cutback has prompted some objections.  

Now, a Mayor’s Facebook posting may bring in some money to at least partially offset the budget cuts.

The budget cuts for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission come as the weather gets colder and more homeless may need shelter.  

Mayor Steve Allender and the city council received some criticism for the cuts.  

“So I spouted off that this funding could be restored if all the adults in Rapid City would pony up a dollar twenty-seven each. That would make up the $70,000,” said Mayor Steve Allender of Rapid City.

Allender was surprised in the days that followed to see many checks for $1.27 appear in the mail, and at least one with the comment, “we accept the challenge.”  

Allender posted a picture of the checks, along with a note encouraging more help for the the homeless shelter. He says the response has been largely positive.

Lysa Allison, the Executive Director at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, says she will welcome all the help the organization can get.

“We’ll get some money. I don’t know if we’ll get the whole $70,000. The great thing about it, though, is one of the other things we try to do is public education about the mission and homeless issues. So, it’s an opportunity for people to learn more about the mission and the services we provide,” Allison said. 

“Purposeful or not, this is a good way to get a lot of attention to an important issue in Rapid City,” Allender said.  

Meanwhile, the mission has some difficult choices to make going forward.

“We will have to go through our 2019 budget and we will have to cut some services,” Allison said. 

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