Passages Transitional Living is a program designed to help women get back on their feet after experiencing homelessness or incarceration. Passages was established in Rapid City nine years ago, and since then, the program has acquired a new building with the intention of supporting more women in need.
According to Marge Beam, Executive Director of Passages Women’s Transitional Living, the program had humble beginnings, but has grown exponentially since it was founded.
“Passages opened its doors a little over nine years ago,” said Beam. “Started with a group of people that realized there needed to be a program for women coming out of incarceration or homelessness, treatment centers. So, we rented a small house that housed seven women with two bathrooms, and we were so grateful to have it. And, really at the time with a new start-up nonprofit, it’s all we could afford. But our vision was always to be able to serve more women, have more room, get known in the community and make a difference long term.”
For the Passages team, the new location is a years-old vision-turned-reality, but the expansion would not have been possible without the community’s support.
“I’m just so impressed with the generosity in this community. The city donated the land, we’ve had people donate money, donate materials, donate time. We’ve gotten grants to help pay for the building. We’re still raising money to complete the finances for paying for this building.”
The new facility consists of a great room, a dining room, a kitchen and a conference room, in addition to the program director’s office and the reception area. The building is secure, and all residents and visitors must “buzz in” to enter the facility. Two wings of bedrooms house 14 women—both incoming and long-term residents.
The new facility inspires hope in the program’s longevity.
“We’re still on a year-by-year basis, have to have operating funds and be self-sustainable,” said Beam. “But I feel like Passages is really set up to still be here in five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. Because, unfortunately, I don’t see the need going away, and we can grow the program here. We can include graduates in becoming mentors and continuing walking through the doors and mentoring new women that are coming in.”
Beam and the Passages team are grateful for the community’s support in establishing the new building, but donations are still welcome to fund the program’s more on-going needs.
“We’ve had a lot of donations, so we’re covered for like sheets and towels,” said Beam. “We do need some area rugs, or funding to purchase them, and we always need things for on-going like feminine hygiene products and toilet paper and paper towels, things like that. Every woman, when they come in, a lot of them come with nothing; so, we provide a welcome basket with slippers and pajamas and all their needs.”
For more information, or to donate to Passage Transitional Living, visit their website here.