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Homeless shelters expecting more guests for the winter months

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 10:56 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As we head into the winter months, more and more people will be using homeless shelters to stay warm.

Many shelters have already seen an increase in the number of people using their services, and those numbers are expected to just go up.

“When the weather is inclement, when it’s cold, when the wind is blowing, when it’s snowing, freezing rain, they’re going to find their way indoors,” said Madeline Shields, Bishop Dudley Hospitality House Executive Director.

The lack of housing is also putting a strain on the shelters.

“When you’re making 10 to 15 dollars an hour, it’s tough and so what ends up happening is that some people get evicted out of their homes because they haven’t paid rent in a while and they end up homeless,” said Eric Weber, Union Gospel Mission CEO.

Couple this with the challenges the pandemic has already burdened so many with and it could make for a tough holiday season.

“Thanksgiving, Christmas is always busy, a lot of people have less this year, even the stores have less and so we are trying to provide more,” said Weber.

Shelters have seen numbers increase since the beginning of fall, and already are low on available rooms.

“On the men’s side we have had about 120 men staying in the beds we have for 80, so we give them a mat and sheets and a blanket and they sleep on the floor on their mat,” said Sheilds.

Daytime use has already seen a significant jump.

“We’re not just a shelter that’s for overnight, we have a shelter that’s for day use and we have people who live in the neighborhood who come over and have lunch,” said Shields

As well basic household supplies, these shelters try and provide warm clothes to anyone who needs it.

“Jackets, gloves, clothes, anything that can do for the winter, hats, beanies, stalking’s, these things we need for the winter for the people that are on the street,” said Weber.

For more information on the Union Gospel Mission Click here. For More information on the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House click here.

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