As is the case with many low-income neighborhoods, the South Side is certainly marked by stigmas that are often associated with “poor neighborhoods.” To an outsider our community is south of the tracks, the part of town you simply want to avoid; blanketed with service organizations such as correctional facilities, half-way houses, drug and rehab facilities, a homeless shelter; and the place with the most condensed population of felons, often home of the worst crimes – you name it, it’s probably here. Yet, despite how the South Side may be understood by others, we are a community of rich history and proud identity. In the same way, this is the heart of CLDI: to leverage that which is good in the community for the transformation and empowerment of persons in South Billings through the person of Jesus Christ.
Generations of families live in the South Side, and they have lived here for years. Floods of relatives, deeply interconnected, form the majority of our community. Those young people who succeed, despite the odds stacked against them, eventually exit the community, looking for a better way of life. But even then, after they have long since been gone, they are deeply rooted in the South Side, for they understand the rich community from which they have come.
- Population: 4,253
- Estimated number of All Housing Units in Neighborhood (Census 2000): 1,894
- Extremely Low-Income Household Rate (Census 2010): South Side – 29.75%; Row House (300 Block) Specific – 38.75%
- Average sale price of home in South Side $123,327 vs Billings General $201,434
- 61.8% rent vs. 38% own their home in the South Side compared to 70% own their home in Billings Proper
- Median household income (2000-2013 Data): South Side: $29,154; compared to $49,265 in Billings
- 47.3% of South Side residents live in Low-Income Housing
- 60-100% of residents are considered moderate- to low-income (Census 2000)
- 45% of the South Side’s adult population age 18-24 do not have a high school diploma or GED compared to 16% nationwide. For people aged 25-64 with less that a high school education, the unemployment rate is nearly 30%
- 43% of South Side households are paying over 30% of their income for housing
- Billings South Side has the highest concentration of registered sex offenders within the city of Billings