Local nonprofits meet to discuss efforts to combat homelessness
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A week after the city of Sioux Falls and multiple nonprofits worked to raise awareness for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, local homeless shelters are working together to combat the growing issue ahead of the holiday season.
On Monday, the Sioux Empire United Way was joined by St. Francis House and the Union Gospel Mission of Sioux Falls to discuss the benefits of working together, as well as to provide resources and amenities for the homeless population in the Sioux Empire. As the population continues to rise, the shelters are seeing a greater need for resources such as clothing, food and mental health counseling.
President and CEO of the Sioux Empire United Way, Alan H. Turner II, says that the homeless stay in Sioux Falls because it’s a place that cares.
“We’re investing in programs that help people have better education, give them a better start in life. [We] help families get the counseling services they need to help with those programs so they don’t get to that point, but when they get to that point we better make sure we have those programs and services here to help with the homeless population, if not it’ll only exponentially grow,” said Turner.
As the weather begins to get cooler and the holidays approach, local homeless shelters are aware of bigger issue the homeless population tends to face: struggles with mental health. Luckily emergency shelters like Union Gospel Mission of Sioux Falls provides fun resources to help those struggling. CEO, Eric Webber states that art classes and different programs like anger management is an aid for those struggling with mental health at their shelter.
Local leaders say the best way to spread awareness on homelessness and the local resources that are available is to start simply by creating the conversation.
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