A personal mission to help the homeless in Sioux Falls - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

A personal mission to help the homeless in Sioux Falls

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Tonight we're going to introduce you to a Sioux Falls man named Jesse Walhof.

Five nights a week, he walks the streets of Sioux Falls looking to make friends with as many of the city's homeless as possible.

It's a personal mission for him and tonight, you'll see some of what he does.

Five nights a week, Jesse Walhof does the work he believes he was called to do. "We desperately care about these people and we desperately want them to better themselves. So our intention is to walk with them."

Walhof works for Volunteers of America.

Monday through Friday, he and three other members of his team work to make friends with those who live under bridges, who hide themselves away from society....those who make their homes wherever they can. "We carry food and clothing and diapers with us, just in case...and hygiene kits...just in case we run into someone who has an immediate need we can just serve them on the spot."

And there are a lot of people to help.

It's not just men. It's increasingly women. and children. "Kids ages 0 to 18 out here....there's people ages 18 to...I've run into a 73 year old out here...men women....everybody in between."

This trail area provided a surprising moment, with Walhof telling us a lot of homeless seek out these areas...but not for the reason you might think. "A lot of people, they literally sleep in the trees...like in the tree tops."

You may think Jesse Walhof's job is depressing.....Walhof says he knows a lot of people look down on the homeless and don't give them a second thought.

This is what he told us, when we asked him why he does this. "I have the best job in the world because I get to know,I get to know so much about people and I get to see the brokenness but at the end of the day I get to see the joy that these people bring to the world."

Walhof says those who are homeless often lack self worth.

He works to boost the confidence and self-esteem of those he meets....saying once someone believes in themselves....they are better equipped to deal with their situation.

 

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