Homeless shelters filling up in the Sioux Falls area - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Homeless shelters filling up in the Sioux Falls area

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Running out to your car is miserable in this weather - let alone spending the entire night outside.

So area shelters are doing what they can to keep as many of the homeless off the streets as possible.

But some places, like the Saint Francis House, have a long waiting list.

These are the nights it's just too cold for anyone to be outside for long - let alone an entire night.

"The need is always there between 15 and 20 people waiting, calling back and checking," explains Julie Becker, Executive Director at the Saint Francis House.

A place where people can have a place to stay and a hand-up has been full since this past spring, and in this now-frigid weather they're turning people away.

It isn't easy.

"It's extremely difficult so he can have a place to stay," says Becker.

When it gets this cold there are more people who need a place to stay and while places like the Saint Francis House may have a waiting list there are other places in Sioux Falls where people can get in to get out of the cold.

"We have space and will take care of whatever comes," says Fran Stenberg.

The Union Gospel Mission is one of them.

"There's a lot besides lodging going on for the people like that," says Stenberg.

And there's always the Salvation Army Warming Center, open 7P.M. to 7 A.M., which has seen as many as 20 people the last few nights.

"There are always some people who won't go to a shelter but here it's a little less threatening and they can come and stay warm," says Salvation Army Major Betty Bender.

Because you don't know how exhausting it can be staying warm - until you have to.

"I would ask anyone to walk in the cold all night. It's pretty difficult," explains Becker.

The Saint Francis House, the Salvation Army and the Union Gospel Mission can use any and all donations of money, food, blankets and personal hygiene items.

For information on how you can give just click on the links.

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