I quite often ponder the difference between someone who is homeless and the rest of us. For me the answer is usually one paycheck. As a person who still lives paycheck-to-paycheck, that is all it would take to change me from an individual with a cozy little rental home into someone without one.

My greatest fear is homelessness and I can imagine there are many people with that same worry. Homeless numbers in South Dakota as of January of 2017 were just south of 1,000 people. In Sioux Falls, right around 800 people are currently without a permanent residence.

Imagine being in those uncomfortable shoes for a moment. Or better yet, for a morning. That is the request of the St. Francis House. You are invited to join in the 1st Annual Walk a Mile in My Shoes event on Saturday, November 18.

Registration begins at 9:30 AM and the walk will begin at 10 AM at the memorial for homeless people who have passed on, located at 6th street and the Big Sioux River. The walk continues for about a mile to the St. Francis House, where it ends.

Participants are asked to provide a new or gently used backpack filled with: 10 pounds of canned goods, thermal underwear, wool socks, gift cards to be used for shoe purchases, etc.

The walk will take place regardless of the kind of weather we're having. You are requested to wear only a light jacket or sweatshirt and uncomfortable shoes or flip-flops. However, if you are bringing your children to walk with you, make sure they are warmly dressed.

Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required. For more information or to register, call 605-929-1603. To learn more about St. Francis House follow them on Facebook and online.

Sources: Housing for the Homeless, St. Francis House


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