Simplified: The city plans to give the Sioux Falls YMCA $500,000 of federal pandemic relief money over the next three years to help with the youth center programming.

Why it matters

  • The money comes from the city's Sioux Falls for All initiative, which has a pool of about $42 million in city funds.
  • The funding agreement was created with government relief money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which means this was funded through federal government grants, but allocated by the city.
  • It'll mainly go to support the YMCA's youth center program, which launched four years ago at the downtown campus. The center is a free, walk-in program to help children have a safe place to go after school or during the summer that connects children with mentors and other resources.
"We can make that facility be a safe place for youth to go after school, during the summer, and during other high-risk times where youth might be able to find other, less impactful places to spend their time,” said Jason Appel, chairman of the YMCA board of directors.

Where did the money come from?

The city received federal money as part of ARPA and the CARES Act to support community projects, like the public safety training center, the River Greenway expansion and the Helpline Center according to Sioux Falls Finance Director Shawn Pritchett.

  • Most of this money was put towards one-time grants in the Sioux Falls For All Initiative.
"The city council had held their own kind of priority setting meeting for areas that they wanted to see some investments made as well," Pritchett said. "And so [the YMCA] was one of many areas that had been identified by the city council for investment.”

What will the YMCA do with the money?

There's four subcategories to the Sioux Falls For All Initiative, but this grant fits in the "Supporting Children, Families and Neighborhoods" section.

  • The YMCA youth center was recognized because it serves children who may be disproportionately disadvantaged because of the pandemic.

Appel said the money for the YMCA youth center will mostly help with future activities and branding.

  • The YMCA had some trouble with transportation for the kids, and Appel said he hopes some of the money can solve the problem of kids getting to the youth center after school.
  • Appel also said the YMCA has some other programs and activities planned that they needed the money for, so the funding agreement will help get those up and running.
“The facility has provided that safe after school atmosphere for quite a number of children in the city of Sioux Falls and in the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood," Appel said.