Homeless and low-income veterans are a group that people overwhelmingly want to help in any way they can, and cities and states nationwide are now doing more to make sure those servicemembers are receiving help in the form of permanent housing. The state of South Dakota is just one of those entities, but it is finally poised to take a huge step forward in this regard.
Three years ago, the South Dakota state legislature signed a bill that allocated about $41 million – including $17 million from the VA – to a home for veterans who are struggling financially, according to a report from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, television station KELO. Now, after a lengthy period of construction, the facility is just about ready to open.
The aim of the Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home, located in Hot Springs, South Dakota, with more than 100 beds, is to take care of older veterans in particular, who may not have the financial wherewithal to appropriately take care of themselves any more, the report said. It will replace an older, smaller facility that had a similar goal.
"Everybody will move in here, so most of what's remaining of the old campus will be shuttered, for lack of a better term, for the time being – until we move into a different phase, and after our new construction is complete," Brad Richardson, superintendent of the facility, told the station. "And as I finish up more of my suites, I'll move more and more of my staff into [the older facility]. Long term, a floor previously used for administration in the building will be turned into a museum area."
Many veterans may be able to get some sort of assistance from government agencies or private organizations in their area, and often they just need to know where to look for help when and if they need it.