Homeless man hopes official count leads to change - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Homeless man hopes official count leads to change

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 On Tuesday in South Dakota in areas both urban and rural, a special type of census was conducted, trying to get a handle on how many people here are homeless.

 Last year's census counted more than 1,400 homeless...and of that number...377 were children.

 Homeless advocates say they are seeing more people who need help getting by.
 We met one of them who says he just wants things to get better.

 There is never a good time to be homeless.
 But the conditions are considerably worse as we head into the fall and winter months, where the temperatures drop but the homeless are still out there, trying to find shelter in alleys, under bridges, wherever they can.
 Dana Farmer knows that life all to well.
 For three years, he has had no solid place to call his own.....all the while trying to find some type of work. "I was looking around, I've been looking around. I can do just about anything really." FArmer doesn't want a hand-out, he wants a job. so far, he has not been able to find one.
 But even work is no guarantee against being homeless.

 "There are people that I have met today that have one job, two jobs or people living with family or friends that are hard working, good individuals that just can't make ends meet." Nicole Burger works for Volunteers of America and is helping administer this census.
 These census numbers can translate into dollars signs, as many state and federal grants require proof of the problem.
 By filling out his form, Dana Farmer knows someone is listening to his problems and may be able to help him and others finally get off the streets.
 We asked Dana how he survives a life of not knowing where he will be sleeping from one day to the next. "Stay strong and don't give up. You know. It's all in your mind really. Spiritual wise too."

 Numbers from this year's homeless census should be available in a few days and then be compared to last year's official numbers to see how dramatically the situation has changed here in South Dakota.

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