Preparing for colder temperatures in South Dakota

Published: Oct. 10, 2019 at 4:35 PM CDT
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With the cold and snow now upon South Dakota thoughts turn to those who live mostly on the streets. For them, shelter and warm clothing can be hard to come by.

Being homeless in Sioux Falls is challenging year-round but especially during the cold weather months. This time of year is a busy time for shelters that are looking to help as many people as possible.

For those going through hard times, the cold weather means even tougher times are ahead. Organizations like The Banquet are getting ready now for an increase in people looking for a hot meal, a hot cup of coffee and a warm place to stay.

"This time of year when it starts to get cold and dreary our guests really look forward to being able to come in for breakfast or dinner and have a hot meal. They warm up before they have to go out and face the elements again," The Banquet Executive Director, Tamera Jerke-Liesinger said.

Living in South Dakota means it's important to remember temperatures reach 32 to below zero and that can cause an increased risk to those who don't have adequate places to stay or warm winter clothing.

Scheels Winter Wear Expert Hanna Werling said when thinking of a winter coat there's one important thing to keep in mind.

"When it comes to coats a big thing is you want to layer especially in South Dakota," Werling said.

But as we know, there are those in Sioux Falls who can't afford the luxury of a new winter coat. Some homeless men say they were fortunate enough to get winter coats from the Union Gospel Mission and that without them the weather that's to come would be unbearable.

"Make sure that it's going to be something that's warm and something that you're comfortable in," Werling said.

While many were hopeful for fall, Mother Nature is changing things up a bit at the beginning of October.

"We have such lovely weather," Werling said.

And already, the banquet is seeing more people who could use some help.

"Last night for supper we served 588 people so normally our numbers are quite high," Jerke-Liesinger said.

Breakfast and dinner are served Monday through Friday at The Banquet with lunch being provided on Saturdays.

Last year The Banquet served more than 200,000 meals to those who needed it the most.