Cedar Village Helps End Chronic Homelessness in South Dakota

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

For 21 former homeless individuals in South Dakota, "home" was often the street. Today they have a new address at Cedar Village Assisted Living Facility in Yankton, a 20-unit licensed assisted living facility that provides around-the-clock support for residents.

Many residents had a history of moving from hospitals to bad living situations and to back on the streets. Some have had more than 70 admissions to hospitals before they found a home at Cedar Village.

[Photo 1: Cedar Village]
Cedar Village provides permanent housing for 21 formerly homeless individuals with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness
Each 550-square-foot furnished apartment contains one bedroom, bathroom, living room and a fully equipped kitchen. Cedar Village supplies linens, blankets, pillows, and towels for each resident.

A number of housing partners created the unique living situation at Cedar Village.
HUD's Continuum of Care program provided $526,000. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority, numerous local grants, funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank and the overwhelming support of the local community helped make Cedar Village a reality. A local church group, Trinity Lutheran Quilters, made and donated 20 handmade quilts for the new facility, one for each resident.

[Photo 2: The dining and commons areas]
The dining and commons areas of Cedar Village offer a homey atmosphere. According to Dr. Stanage, "Many residents never had the opportunity to live independently or knew how to manage an apartment. Some moved into their new homes with all their belongings packed into two garbage bags."

"Cedar Village is really a community effort," said Dr. Tom Stanage, executive director of the Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services, which oversees the facility for individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. "It was built using grants, loans, donations from community organizations, schools, churches, businesses and individuals. Everything here from the linens and quilts, to sofas and beds was donated. Nearly $50,000 in monies and furnishings were donated for the building's interior."

Content Archived: September 09, 2009