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Central South Dakota domestic violence center to expand

A rendering of the completed project
A rendering of Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center's completed project. The organization recently began construction in Pierre.

The longstanding Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center has broken ground on a new space in Pierre. For guests, this means more services and more reach in central South Dakota.

Missouri Shores has been a beacon of support for domestic violence victims in central South Dakota for three decades, and leaders hope this new space will lead them into the next decades.

Executive director Sarah Reinhart said starting work on the new facility is a long time coming.

“This is a conversation we’ve been having for over 10 years now about needing a larger facility where we can house more individuals escaping violence, and we were finally able to break ground with the goal of enhancing our ability to provide services," Reinhart said. "Being able to see dirt moving and the progress being made – it’s very rewarding.”

Reinhart said the the organization's needs have grown beyond their existing capacity.

“Our current facility, we can house nine families at a time," Reinhart said. "The newer facility will be able to house 13 families at a time, and specifically we will be able to house male victims, which is not something we do in our current House of Hope. So, it’s just going to be a lot more families being housed, finding safety, finding hope, and expanding those services that we can’t do right now.”

Reinhart said for rural central South Dakota, the need for this kind of service persists.

“We are running at maximum capacity almost all the time. I know in the past two weeks we’ve had to put about three families in hotel rooms because our shelter was already full," Reinhart said. "So, by expanding that space, we’re hoping that we’re not having to look for alternative safety measures for people who need a safe place to go.”

The new space is expected to be completed by fall of next year.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture