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November Is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month

As seen on the City of Sioux Falls website

“Every night in Sioux Falls, homeless children, women, and men are in need of shelter and supportive services. They live in shelters, transitional living facilities, vehicles, outdoors, in places not meant for human habitation, with strangers they have just met, or at imminent risk of being displaced from their residence,” says Colleen Moran, Assistant City Attorney, City of Sioux Falls.

Following are some eye-opening statistics:

  • The number of children identified as homeless in Sioux Falls has increased substantially over the last decade, including 438 children identified by the Sioux Falls School District so far this 2017–2018 school year.
  • Nearly 50 percent of students in the Sioux Falls School District are receiving free or reduced meals. Additionally, 3,000-weekend food backpacks are sent home with students each week, provided by the local Food Pantry.
  • In Minnehaha County, approximately 8,400 children rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
  • In South Dakota, 29.4 percent of individuals with disabilities live below the poverty line. Nationally, 37 percent of all homeless individuals have a disability.

“Preventing and ending homelessness and hunger is essential to the stability of families, the growth and vitality of businesses, and the Sioux Falls community as a whole. Many organizations and faith-based entities are committed to sheltering and providing supportive services as well as meals and food supplies to those in need, striving to ensure that the steps they are taking to end homelessness and hunger are done efficiently and effectively by working collaboratively to avoid duplication of services,” says Stacey Tieszen, Coordinator, Homeless Advisory Board, Minnehaha County.

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