Passages is a faith-based ministry focused on helping women re-enter society after prison or homelessness. The new residential building can house fourteen people - double that of the current place. Passages will own this facility after renting for eight years.
Marge Beam is the executive director. She says the update is sorely needed.
“I get two, three calls a week from agencies or women saying I'm homeless, I need a place right now. And we don't have a bed available. Plus, we have a waitlist of women waiting to get out of prison. And I can't guarantee that I'm gonna have a bed for them when they get out.”
Beam says the program focuses on breaking destructive habits and becoming self-sufficient. And it’s hard. She says many participants have trouble finding housing and employment after they leave. But Beam says they always have access to support.
“We try to keep them connected. A lot of them get busy with life, but we want them to come back if they've done well on the program and be mentors.”
Katie Root is one of those mentors. She left Passages in 2019 after a six-year struggle with meth addiction.
“I was completely alone and found myself in Pennington County jail, had a very intimate moment meeting Jesus in there. And right then God just open a door for me to go to a healing place where I needed to go.”
Root is three years sober. She’s devoted her life to helping other women get clean. She says she owes it all to Passages approach.
Participants are expected to follow all house rules. This includes chores, a curfew, paying program fees on time, and attending outpatient treatment and Bible study.
Rapid City donated the land. Construction is funded by donations from local-nonprofits and a grant from The Sunshine Lady Foundation - ran by Warren Buffet’s sister, Doris Buffett.
Construction begins immediately. Passages estimates it will take six to nine months to complete.