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Determining How Many Homeless People There Are In South Dakota

Winter Homeless
(Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Being without a place to stay in the throes of a South Dakota winter is more than just bad luck.  Someone who is homeless borders on a calamity in the cold.

The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium is conducting its biennial winter one-day survey on Tuesday January 29.  Volunteers will disperse into the conditions to count the number of homeless families and individuals throughout the state.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires counts of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons (PIT) as well as Housing Inventory counts (HIC) to be conducted during one day of the last ten days in January. The Homeless Advisory Board will be conducting the survey throughout the Sioux Empire.

Homelessness can happen at any time to someone whose income or lifestyle suddenly changes because of one or a combination of any of these: job loss, divorce, medical illness, natural disaster, domestic violence, and mental illness. These surveys provide us with an inside snapshot of homelessness in Sioux Falls during the winter months.

Volunteers are also still needed in the Sioux Falls area throughout the day or evening to help survey (ask specific questions) individuals and families in the community who are experiencing homelessness. This is a unique opportunity to talk with people whose life stories may be quite different from our own. Volunteers will work in teams and the hours will vary by location.

For additional information or to volunteer please contact Stacey Tieszen who is the Coordinator of the Homeless Advisory Board at (605) 978-5611 or email her at stieszen@minnehahacounty.org

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