On Giving Tuesday, a Yankton homeless shelter took to social media to update its followers on some big projects at the facility.
With a growing demand for services, housing and more space, the shelter has been looking to renovate and add-on as part of a strategic plan from 2017.
Pathways Shelter for the Homeless was founded in 1994. They operated for 21 years out of a two-story house and could only serve up to nine people. In 2015, they purchased and moved into an old motel which added more housing space, but the need has grown even more.
Executive director Jesse Bailey says the current shelter has had some renovations, but the need for more rooms remains.
“We’ve been fortunate to find funding, whether that was from donors or grants, to be able to renovate the existing shelter to help it be more comfortable for the folks and just expand that so we can serve more people there,” Bailey said.
They offer different types of housing; “Tier 2” is longer-term housing for both families and individuals. Earlier this year, they added night-by-night emergency shelter housing with 20 total beds – 10 for men and 10 for women.
“On average, there’s about 50 people waiting to get into shelter at any given time. Multiple times per year, that list grows to over 100 people,” Bailey said.
Other services include help with financial assistance, homeless prevention and a community transition program for individuals released from prison and integrating back into the community.
The expansion is part of a four-phase project. Phases one and two are mostly complete, including making the facility more ADA accessible. Phases three and four, which are the biggest, would add a new parking lot, a brand-new addition and more.
“If we can create that parking lot in a way that’s not intrusive to our neighbors and then add this additional wing and bring all those extra services here, it’s going to be great for our community,” Bailey said.
Shannon Nicolle, who stays at the shelter, completed drug treatment earlier fall.
“Without this place, I’m not sure that I’d be able to get on my feet at all. You know, I don’t have a whole lot of family support or a lot of friends, so without this place, I’d have nothing, so I’m deeply grateful for them,” she said.
Nicolle says the expansion is important.
“There’s so many people who need these services. I’m just happy there’s someone that’s meeting these needs,” Nicolle said.
“We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our donors, and they have really stepped up to help us accomplish some of these tasks,” Bailey said.
They plan to launch a capital campaign early next year, with hopes of a groundbreaking for the new addition in early 2024.
When first planned a few years ago, the cost was $2.25 million. That price is now higher due to inflation.