Minnehaha County awarded additional $700,000 Grant by MacArthur Foundation

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 1:05 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Minnehaha County has been awarded additional funds by a national foundation to aid in supporting local justice system initiatives and advancing community engagement.

The $700,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to the county is part of a collaborative effort to create fair, just, and equitable local justice systems across the country.

“It’s very important to us as a county that we get people back into living their lives and out of the criminal justice system, safely and effectively,” Minnehaha County Commissioner Cindy Heiberger said.

To date, the MacArthur Foundation has invested nearly $1.5 million in Minnehaha County through its Safety and Justice Challenge.

That money goes to help fund projects like The Link in downtown Sioux Falls, as well as pre-trial services and court reminders.

“Without money from the MacArthur Grant, particularly this amount of money, we would not have been able to push forward these ideas as quickly as we did,” Heiberger said.

Because of these funds, Think 3D Solutions has been able to adapt and grow its already successful “Leaders of Tomorrow” program to reach those impacted by the justice system.

“We’re talking about a group of people that, historically, haven’t had a lot of investments made into them in their communities, as well as the places they came from,” Tamien Dysart, Co-Founder of Think 3D Solutions said.

In addition, South Dakota Urban Indian Health is expanding its services to focus more on culturally-based care.

“We have to really consider the things that help our people, and so those things are combining everything that’s in the medicine wheel that we have, which is the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual,” Serene Thin Elk, South Dakota Urban Indian Health Behavioral Health Director, said. “If we don’t include that spiritual-cultural component we really see a disconnect, in terms of healing.”

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