Affordable Housing

Reducing family homelessness

5-Year Goal

Reduce by 50% the number of families with school-age children who are virtually homeless during the school year. (Target: 500 children)

 Primary objectives:

Align existing affordable housing resources to create an efficient access system that benefits renters and landlords

Develop a tactical plan to address other significant accessible housing issues

Monitor the effect of changes

With Affordable Housing, Access is Critical

Given the shortage of housing in Sioux Falls, the odds of building an effective housing access system are about as likely as aligning a Rubik’s Cube after preschool show-and-tell. The job isn’t for the faint of heart, but Thrive’s Housing Action Team has heart.

In its corner are powerful partners:

Housing Action Team members focus on big picture housing access issues. Once they target a breakdown in the system, they create a task team charged with finding solutions.


Two task teams are underway

  • Housing Retention Specialist Task Team. Evictions are tough. Few things are as stressful to kids as losing their home. This year, HAT secured a grant from the Bush Foundation to fund an eviction prevention pilot with its partner, East River Legal Services. ERLS will provide intervention assistance to property owners and renters who’d like to resolve tenancy issues before they turn into eviction crises and school-age children wind up in a shelter.
  • Housing Referral Screening Tool Task Team. Perhaps the biggest surprise to HAT members was the realization that the multi-organization system they refer to as a “plate of spaghetti” may be an asset instead of a deficit. A single point of entry to a housing referral system will produce long wait lines. This task team is developing a tool that will allow virtually any nonprofit or government staff person to make an appropriate housing referral.

Next up?  HAT members’ big goal is to cut in half the number of kids who are virtually homeless during the school year. In coming months, they’ll be deep into planning how to reach at-risk families before they hit the homeless list.

Educational Milestones

KINDERGARTEN READINESS Entering kindergarten ready to learn is a predictor of a child’s future educational attainment.

GRADE 3 READING PROFICIENCY Up to third grade, one learns to read. After third grade, one reads to learn. Falling behind in reading in elementary school is an educational handicap few children overcome.

GRADE 8 MATH PROFICIENCY Mastery of basic math skills is necessary to move on to algebra, and mastery of algebra is strongly linked to high school success and college enrollment.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION High school graduates enjoy higher lifetime earnings and are less likely to depend on welfare or become involved in the criminal justice system than those who drop out.

POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT Post-secondary education is the gateway to the middle class. To be successful in the global economy some sort of post-secondary education is necessary.

POST-SECONDARY DEGREE COMPLETION A post-secondary degree or certificate is key to long-term financial gain, job stability, and success in and out of the workplace.

Housing Action Team Members

Amos Abu, City of Sioux Falls Housing Division
Matt Althoff, Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese
Sheri Ekdom, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Mike Huber, Community Stakeholder
Richie Hutchinson, Community Stakeholder
Roger Jacobs, Housing and Urban Development
Liz Larkin, Community Stakeholder
Anny Libengood, Minnehaha County
Amy Miller, Charisma Properties
Shireen Ranschau, Community Stakeholder
Gayleen Riedemann, Riedemann Properties
Betsy Schuster, Helpline Center
Kayla Tronvold, The Community Outreach

Affordable Housing Action Team members

Members of the Housing Action Team pause for a photo during a recent meeting.

Thrive Action Teams are key to our mission. They address obstacles to student success by focusing on creating systemic change in the conditions surrounding the educational system.

Action Teams are comprised of individuals who:

  • Represent a cross-section of business, government, nonprofit and faith-based communities.
  • Have knowledge and experience to contribute to the ecosystem issue being addressed.
  • Are willing to make a commitment to participate regularly in Action Team activities.

Teams can accommodate up to 15 members for two-year terms. One-third of Action Team membership turns over every two years and opportunities for Task Team volunteers are always available. Contact us to learn more.

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