Pierre, September 5, 2007 – The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium (Consortium) is conducting a one-day survey on September 20, 2007 to count the number of homeless families and individuals throughout South Dakota.
“This count will be coordinated statewide to gather information to help document the causes and length of homelessness throughout South Dakota,” said Lisa Bondy, Coordinator for the South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium. “We are relying on volunteers and service agencies throughout the state to help give an accurate picture of the situation. We are especially counting on service providers, law enforcement, as well as faith-based organizations on the Indian reservations and in the rural areas of the state to inform us about families and individuals who do not have a regular nighttime residence in their communities.”
New this year will be the inclusion of questions for those families and individuals who are living in doubled-up situations. “Although this type of living situation is not considered homeless by HUD’s definition, it is a real issue in South Dakota and we will look at the results from this survey to better understand the situations of these families in order to start looking for solutions to their permanent housing needs.” said Bondy.
For purposes of conducting the count, the state will be broken down into three geographical areas according to counties where services are provided. Betty Durfee with Goodwill Industries in Sioux Falls will be taking the lead roll in conducting the survey for the eastern part of the state. Jada Johns with the Black Hills Region Homeless Coalition will handle the Rapid City area. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) in Pierre will be the contact for the remaining areas of the state.
South Dakota held a previous homeless count in August 2006. The number of people who were living either on the street or in shelters on that particular day was 772. “We are anxious to see how much that number has changed from one summer to another,” said Bondy.
The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium was created in 2001 to unite people who provide services for the homeless. The primary focus of the group is to identify gaps, programs and services that make it difficult for people to make it on their own. Since its inception, the Consortium has received federal funding totaling $6.5 million to provide development, operations, and supportive service funding to a variety of homeless programs across the state.
Reducing the number of homeless families and individuals is a national and state priority. By combining the results of this homeless count with a plan of action, the Consortium can assist its’ members to address these problems and make appropriate changes as needed.
The Consortium encourages anyone who is interested in participating in this effort to please contact: Betty Durfee, 605-731-1932 or durfeeb (at) goodwillscia (dot) com; Jada Johns, 605-343-0650 or jjohns (at) behaviormanagement (dot) org; or Lisa Bondy, SDHDA, 605-773-3445, lisab (at) sdhda (dot) org.
The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) is an independent, quasi-public agency that finances and develops affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate-income residents throughout South Dakota. SDHDA is totally self-supporting and receives no tax money, appropriations or other funding from the State. SDHDA does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin. SDHDA is a proud partner of the State’s 2010 Initiative to “Brand and Develop South Dakota’s Quality of Life as the Best in America.” For more information, visit www.sdhda.org or www.2010initiative.com.
The South Dakota Housing Development Authority…Building a Better Quality of Life.