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Mita Maske Ti Ki
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In the news....

Mita Maske Ti Ki

Shelter Needs Your Help To Expand

10/23/2009 6:09 PM

An estimated 1 point 3 million women are abused by someone they know each year in America. We have more on how you can help women and children who are victims of abuse.

In the past couple of months, one Sioux Falls shelter has had to turn away 52 women, 23 children, and two families of 7. It's something volunteers and staff never want to do, that's why they're hoping the community can come together and make sure no woman has to look for safety somewhere else.

The Mita Maske Ti Ki house, also known as "My Sister Friends" house, a Native program open to all women, has been helping families in KELOLAND for 9 years. The shelter provides a unique niche, with its cultural sensitivity to Native women and children.

"There is such a great need for us to be here in the community, because of our grassroots approach, that we don't have a time limit," Kimberly St. John, Shelter Director said.

But officials didn't know if they could even stay open until last month.

"I think the biggest thing, is knowing that there's a need and we have to shut down, that is what's going to affect a lot of our native women," Lisa Thompson, Executive Director, Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc.

In September a grant request pulled through and the shelter received 3 years of federal funding for operational costs. Now, with funding issues behind it, the shelter's next problem is space. And the staff hopes the community steps up to help.

"Try to find purchase, a building, property, with more room, more space, that we can take in and serve more victims out there," Lisa Thompson said.

The group is working on a building campaign, and hopes to raise money and gather enough donations to move to a larger shelter in 3 years.

"It's hard to turn people away, especially when you're the one who is responsible, you feel responsible for that because you have a job to do," Lisa Thompson said.

Tonight,My Sister Friends house is helping host a Speak Out and Candle Light Vigil tonight at the Multi-cultural center in Sioux Falls. The event started around 5pm.
\http://www.keloland .com/News/ NewsDetail6371. cfm?Id=9169

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