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Rapid City Care Campus puts out call for cultural resources

The Rapid City Care Campus sees serious usage for a key population in need of support. Now, local officials are seeking more cultural resources and volunteers to best serve this community.

The Care Campus offers services like detoxification and residential treatment for those suffering from drug and alcohol dependence. However, it’s run in collaboration with local law enforcement, which can create a barrier for those in need of potentially life-changing care.

Pennington County Sheriff Brian Mueller acknowledges the facility needs something that law enforcement simply lacks.

"We really need help," Mueller said. "We’re lacking the cultural component we need to effect real change in people’s lives with a small group of individuals. When we started the safe beds, it’s a harm reduction model, and its necessary. It’s been very, very effective at some jail diversion, but also just being compassionate and letting people that have substance abuse issues have a safe place to sleep.”

Barry Tice is the director of human services at the Care Campus. He said the facility is working to cut down on repeat users – primarily drug and alcohol abuse.

“We want to take care of people as a community and also try to help them identify services, so they don’t have to keep using the facility," Tice said. "Staff at human services as well as our other partners work really hard at trying to assist people to find housing, often times for the first time in their lives.”

Tice said while the staff is ready, the realities of the work mean there are challenges to overcome daily.

“We have some of the brightest individuals in the room thinking of ideas to help folks, and I would say on the humanistic side of things, it’s really hard to sit in a room full of folks and say, ‘what can we do',” Tice said.

There are currently openings for cultural and therapeutic roles at the Care Campus. Resources can be found at Pennington County's website.

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