Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is sponsored by the 2nd Annual Women's Visionary Summit: Finding Your Business Balance

  • Find balance in your business and get inspired by a slate of innovative and empowering speakers at this Aug. 9 event hosted by the SD CEO East Women's Business Center. Get your tickets here!

🚨Breaking: It's August now. How'd that happen?

Weather check: Might want to keep an umbrella handy

This week, I'll share an update on how an outreach program for unhoused folks is getting some city support. I've also got a look at how Sioux Falls is seeing more apartments and fewer single-family homes so far this year, and find the lineup for the Pavilion's new Live & Local Performance Series.

And now, news:


How city funds will take this nonprofit's homeless outreach to the next level

Simplified: The city has selected South Dakota Urban Indian Health (SDUIH) to receive $175,000 to help unhoused people. Here's a look at how it'll help expand the Wo'Okiye Project.

Why it matters

  • The Wo'Okiye Project has been in operation for a few months now with the help of volunteers and existing SDUIH staff, but, with the help of these city funds – set to be approved by City Council on Wednesday – the project will be able to have its own dedicated staff.
  • The goal of the Wo'Okiye Project is to give people an alternative to calling police when they see someone in need of assistance When you look at both the unhoused and the incarcerated populations in Sioux Falls, Native American people are disproportionately represented.
  • A culturally responsive street outreach team, like the Wo'Okiye Project, was one of the recommendations a city homelessness task force presented earlier this year. In March, City Council approved $250,000 toward this effort, and this week, the city will announce SDUIH as a recipient of $175,000.
"I’m thrilled to see this effort move forward," said Councilor Rich Merkouris, who initially called for the homelessness task force. "This is a great pilot project to put in place a very intentional effort to engage with individuals in our community who are struggling. Hopefully, this lowers the burden on our law enforcement community."

Tell me more about the Wo'Okiye Project


What's being built in Sioux Falls this year?

Simplified: The City of Sioux Falls is seeing fewer builders putting up single-family homes and more opting for apartments or commercial properties, according to building permit data for the first half of the year.

Photo by Josh Olalde / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • Sioux Falls has seen record growth the last few years, with more than $1 billion in building permit valuation for each of the last two years – in fact, this time last year, the city had already surpassed $1 billion in permits.
  • This year, that growth appears to be leveling off with just over $645 million. It's still slightly ahead of where the city was in July 2021, but the big difference this year is a significant drop in new residential permits.
  • Planning Director Jeff Eckhoff attributes the decline in single-family homes to rising interest rates paired with higher construction costs. But when it comes to apartments, builders keep on building.
"It's just the demand," Eckhoff said, noting that apartment occupancy rates have been very high – up to 90% – in Sioux Falls as more and more people move to town.

Tell me more about the permit data this year


Super Simplified Stories

  • Splish, splash. The Washington Pavilion's newly renovated water exhibit is now open on the first floor of the Kirby Science Discovery Center. (Editor's note: I took my 3-year-old, and she full-tantrum cried when we had to leave, so I'd say it's a hit.)
  • Help shape Family Park. The city is looking for input on what folks want to see at Family Park in the future. You can share your thoughts by filling out this questionnaire.
  • Nominate an awesome woman. Embe's 50th annual Tribute to Women is happening this year, and nominations are now open for a variety of categories. I know a lot (most, like 2/3,) of you reading are awesome women. So, ya know, go nominate each other and get some well-deserved recognition.


Meet the local performers bringing their talents to the Pavilion

Simplified: More than 100 local artists will bring their talents to the stage in the inaugural Live & Local Series at the Washington Pavilion. Here's a look at what to expect from this new monthly performance series.

Janice Gilbert performs at a press conference announcing the Live&Local lineup. Photo by Megan Raposa

Why it matters

  • The Pavilion has long been a center for the arts in Sioux Falls, but the Live & Local series aims to specifically lift up local talent, from musicians to comedians to poets to dancers.
  • Live & Local shows will also give people in the area a chance to attend live performances at a more affordable price point than most shows on the Pavilion stages. Tickets will be $20 (plus tax).
  • For artists like Xavier Pastrano, a writer who performs spoken word poetry alongside a live band, the new series is a recognition of the growing arts scene in town.
"To be able to perform on these stages is incredibly validating," Pastrano said.

Tell me more about Live & Local


What I'm falling for this week:


More recent stories

How neighbors are teaming up to fight hunger
A two-day forum this week brought food producers, restauranteurs and nonprofits together to find some fast, tangible solutions to food insecurity in Sioux Falls.
How the city is looking to get more involved with the arts
Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration is looking to get the city more involved in the arts through a new arts commission focused on public art, securing grants for artists and promoting economic impact through the arts.
Get smart about local housing needs with Rocky Welker
Rocky Welker is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls.

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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or tips for coping with two kids who can now move independently to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

Special thanks to the SD CEO East Women's Business Center!

Don't miss the 2nd Annual Women's Visionary Summit: Finding Your Business Balance from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 9 at the Washington Pavilion. Get your tickets here!

  • The SD CEO East Women's Business Center, is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration.