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Homelessness, A Chilly Reality in Sioux Falls

Over 75 volunteers donned heavy winter jackets, snow boots, mittens and several layers of clothing and braved the -13 degree February morning to help bring attention to homeless issues in Sioux Falls. They stood at busy intersections holding cardboard signs to raise awareness and let morning commuters (in their warm cars) know that there are individuals and families facing cold mornings every day.

[Photo 1: Volunteers holding cardboard signs to raise money for the homeless]
Volunteers in cold with cardboard signs -"Room temperature for the homeless today is 10 degrees" and "You can help"
[Photo 2: Volunteers holding cardboard signs 'Homelessness a reality in Sioux Falls' and 'Every child deserves a warm bed']
Volunteers standing in snow with signs - "Homelessness - a reality in Sioux Falls" and "Every child deserves a warm bed"

Several homeless individuals participated and one homeless man, who resides in an emergency shelter, gave volunteers pointers on how to stay warm. He instructed them to fold up cardboard and stand on it to keep their feet from getting cold. He also gave an extra stocking cap to a volunteer who had forgotten his own.

Pay it Forward, a local group that raises money and gives it away anonymously sponsored the event called HOME, Homeless Outreach Morning Exercise. Cardboard signs relayed messages to morning commuters about the reality of homelessness in Sioux Falls, and promoted a new web site www.humanlikeyou.com that provides information about homelessness in Sioux Falls and ways people can help.

Most commuters were supportive and volunteers reported many drivers honking and giving them a thumbs-up; several were given money to help the cause. One agency received a donation of winter coats and money as a result of the event. It's hoped that more people will respond to the need by donating their time, goods, and money to help reduce homelessness in Sioux Falls.

If you are homeless, need help, or you would like to volunteer, here are some resources with more information.

  • Human Like You (http://www.humanlikeyou.com)
  • HUD's South Dakota Homeless web page (www.hud.gov/southdakota)
  • Call the Sioux Empire Homeless Coalition at (605) 367-6012.

Content Archived: April 5, 2011

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