Month: July, 2015

SDHHC Announces 2015 Statewide Homeless Count Results and Public Input on South Dakota’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. – The 2015 Statewide Point in Time Homeless Count that was conducted on Jan. 27, 2015, revealed that 1,036 individuals were homeless in South Dakota. This number represents a 17 percent increase from the 2014 count of 885 individuals. Sixty-one percent were adults over the age of 24; 26 percent were children under 18; and 13 percent were adults 18 to 24 years of age.  Eighty-seven percent were sheltered on the night of the count, either in emergency shelter, transitional housing or motels being paid for by a non-profit.  Thirteen percent were unsheltered on the night of the count.  Unsheltered includes the street, vehicles, or places not meant for human habitation.

The Point in Time Homeless Count was conducted by the South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium (SDHHC) in collaboration with community agencies and homeless service providers. The statewide, one-day count was a snapshot of people experiencing homelessness. 

To further define the snapshot of homelessness of the 1,036 counted in January, 17 percent were veterans, 81 percent were individuals, 17 percent were households with children and two percent were unaccompanied children.

To establish strategic goals and objectives to address homelessness in South Dakota, the South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium has drafted a Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.  SDHHC is currently asking for the public’s review and comments with community meetings being held during July.

If your community is interested in holding a public meeting for the Ten-Year Plan, please contact Jake Cummings at (605) 773-7618 or at

The Draft of the Ten-Year Plan, information on location and dates for scheduled public meetings as well as detailed data on the Homeless Count results can be found on homeless website at


The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium was created in 2001 to help unify the people who provide services to the homeless. Throughout the years the Consortium has identified gaps and created programs and services that make it easier for people to make it on their own.  Since its initiation, the Consortium has received federal funding totaling of around $8 million to provide development, operations and supportive services to a variety of homeless programs across the state. 

CategoriesCurrent News

Two Sturgis-area nonprofits receive $10,000 Community Innovation Grants

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PIERRE | The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) awarded Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, Inc. and the West River Foundation each with a $10,000 Community Innovation Grant.

The organizations were two of eight nonprofits to receive a Community Innovation Grant from the SDCF in its first round of 2015 grant awards. On Monday, May 11, Ginger Niemann, SDCF program officer, presented the checks to Tammie Brock, director of Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, Inc., and Ron Rosenboom, executive director of the West River Foundation.

“These grants will help serve Sturgis and surrounding communities to address challenges in inclusive, collaborative and resourceful ways,” says Niemann. “Both Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, Inc. and the West River Foundation are focused on implementing problem-solving processes to bring long-term change to the area.”

Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, Inc. will use the grant funds to conduct focus groups, meet with existing organizations and create educational information to enhance service delivery. The organization’s efforts are aimed at eliminating domestic and sexual violence in Sturgis, Faith, Buffalo, Union Center, Summerset and the Ellsworth Air Force base area.

“The South Dakota Community Foundation's financial support is vital in meeting our program's objectives,” says Brock. “We could not do this work alone, and we know that violence and related community problems will not end until everyone gets involved.”

Crisis Intervention Shelter Services, Inc. recently announced the appointment of Brock as Executive Director of CISS. Brock joined the staff at CISS as an advocate in 2006 and has been Interim Executive Director since December 2014. CISS also operates My CISSter's Closet in Sturgis managed by LuAnn Smith.

The CISS Board of Directors is also announced the organization of the CISS Men's Auxiliary Committee. Michael McManus, Gene McPherson, Floyd Rummel, John Stielow, Charlie Wheeler and Chris Williams have joined the Board and Staff at CISS in an effort to enhance the goals of CISS in fundraising, solidarity and advocacy. Mr. Wheeler was elected to serve as Chair of the Committee.

CISS was incorporated in Meade County in 1991 and operates in Sturgis to assist, shelter and support victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The West River Foundation will use the grant funds to develop a Community and Economic Development Engagement Plan to identify a sustainable process of engaging communities in planning their futures on a continual basis. The program will be implemented in Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Oglala, Pennington, and Perkins Counties.

“Our partner, Black Hills Community Economic Development, will take the lead in implementing this planning process and will begin engaging key constituents in the communities through the summer and fall of 2015,” says Rosenboom. “West River Foundation looks forward to working with our partners, South Dakota Community Foundation and Black Hills Community Economic Development, in this worthwhile endeavor.”

Applications continue to be accepted for the $400,000 that is available in 2015 through the grant program. The second round of Community Innovation Grants opened May 1 and closes May 31.

The third and final round will open September 1 and close September 30. Interested organizations can visit to review the grant guidelines, deadlines and application instructions. In order to qualify, a nonprofit must be IRS Publication 78 verified or have a fiscal sponsor.

Since 1987, the South Dakota Community Foundation has helped people reach their philanthropic goals and strengthened communities across the state. The SDCF administers more than $227 million in total assets for over 700 funds. By commingling endowed assets, the SDCF gives its partners enhanced investment opportunities that provide long-term support to charitable causes.

Last year, the SDCF distributed more than $7 million in grants to nonprofits through the funds it manages. Visit to learn more.

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.

CategoriesCurrent News

ASHNA: Communities of Care

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Written by Yashna Padamsee  July 2011.Yashna is a first generation south asian immigrant queer femme healer-warrior yoga teacher who was raised in part by the US South. She works with love and care for the National Domestic Workers Alliance as an Administrative Coordinator.

Stop talking about Self-Care

In the last 3 years as I talk about the Healing Justice (HJ) work I am involved in I am met with dueling responses of either deep yearning and curiosity about sustainability or a look that says “how sweet” and “call me when you’re ready to do some real work.”

Each response often leads to the introduction conversations that get stuck on the idea that HJ is only about the practice of “self-care.” Self-care is important and essential but lets not get stuck here. I love the idea of exploring ways to care for ourselves and our sustainability such as- honoring what unions won for us by working an 8 hour day (instead of working 10-14 hour days all the time), or other common self-care options like taking a bubble bath, or eating comfort food.

If we let ourselves be caught up in the discussion of self-care we are missing the whole point of Healing Justice (HJ) work. Talking only about self-care when talking about HJ is like only talking about recycling and composting when speaking on Environmental Justice. It is a necessary and important individual daily practice- but to truly seek justice for the Environment, or to truly seek Healing for our communities, we need to interrupt and transform systems on a broader level.

We need to move the self-care conversation into community care. We need to move the conversation from individual to collective. From independent to interdependent.

Too often self-care in our organizational cultures gets translated to our individual responsibility to leave work early, go home- alone- and go take a bath, go to the gym, eat some food and go to sleep. So we do all of that “self-care” to return to organizational cultures where we reproduce the systems we are trying to break; where we are continually reminded of our own trauma or exposed and absorb secondary PTSD, and where we then feel guilty or punished for leaving work early the night before to take a bubble bath.

Self-care, as it is framed now, leaves us in danger of being isolated in our struggle and our healing. Isolation of yet another person, another injustice, is a notch in the belt of Oppression. A liberatory care practice is one in which we move beyond self-care into caring for each other.
You shouldn’t have to do this alone.

Why are we seeking Care?

There is a growing rumble of yearning for healing in our movement work. Oppression and trauma do influence our well-being. On-going generational trauma and violence affect our communities, our bodies, our hearts, minds and spirits. Racism, sexism, classism, eats at our very beings. This leads us to seek care. We know this. Our bodies know this. Our friends can read it in our faces even if we have learned to ignore it.

We put our bodies on the line everyday- because we care so deeply about our work- hunger strikes, long marches, long days at the computer or long days organizing on a street corner or a public bus or a congregation. Skip a meal, keep working. Don’t sleep, keep working. Our communities are still suffering, so I must keep going. We risk and test our bodies to go further and we stretch our hearts or close our hearts to keep going- whatever it takes- and ultimately what it takes is a toll on us. This leads us to seek care.

We want to deny it - but abelism still shapes our movement work- “go hard or go home”. In the Needs Assessment by Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective, they state, “Changemakers are dying as a result of spiritual and physical deprivation from trauma, stress and unrest in our movements.”

We are burning out faster and at higher rates- unable to do the work we love. How can we win when our bodies individually and collectively can’t keep up? We are risking not just burn-out, but organizer loss and movement fragmentation. We cannot afford this.

How do we move from Self-care to Community-Care?

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King says “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In that same spirit- can we be cognizant of the interrelatedness of our own bodies, of our own well-beings? I cannot sit and read a manifesto for liberation of mind without going deep and healing for liberation of body and spirit. I cannot sit and care for my body without being concerned with what happens to the bodies of my sisters. We are connected.

Can we understand how creating another world will require, or rather, demand our well-being? From small-town collectives and national organizations to strategy and pop-ed sessions to shared meals and parties- it is our responsibility not as individuals, but as communities to create structures in which self-care changes to community care. In which we are cared-for and able to care for others.

Disability Justice is mightily leading the way in showing us that we don’t have to keep doing our work in the same way nor do we need to do it alone. For example, Sins Invalid (“a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities”) rescheduled an entire production due to a member’s health concerns and performed when it was safe for every-one’s bodies. Or another shining example is Creating Collective Access- creating a “new model of being in our movements …by resisting against the individualization of access” by organizing for collective care at social movement gatherings.

If your liberation is wrapped up with mine- for me that means that it matters how you feel and what you are feeling. Your well-being is our liberation, and I would hope that you would say the same. We can take the lead from the field notes of many Healing Justice & Disability Justice organizers, collectives, events and organizations, work from visionary poets and examples from national organizing campaigns that center the principle of Care. There are resources out there and treasures that are many generations old. Find them, talk about them, practice them together, honor them.

Organizations for Liberation

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Dr. King (Letter from a Birmingham Jail)

As our conversation develops from the limited idea of self-care to the expansive reality of community care we are able to honor the depth of Healing Justice work and the depths of ourselves. We need to switch our thinking- individually and organizationally- to including well-being in our work for justice. Because when we are able to do that- that means we are cognizant of Dr. King’s “network of mutuality.” Because when we do that we will truly be working towards a liberatory and visionary new world.

So go on and call me when you are ready to do some real work.

…and because I did not do this alone- gratitude for the brilliant concept conversations & feedback - B. Loewe Alexis Pauline Gumbs,Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Cynthia Oka. Shonettia Monique.
CategoriesCurrent News