Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pray that God will provide for the homeless

I found this on and it really struck a chord with, I'm sharing with whoever happens to read my blog.

Record Number Of Homeless Children Expected In SF
Some volunteers in Sioux Falls spent Saturday making blankets for homeless children in the school district. Their goal was to make 100 blankets by the end of the day. But that will only be enough to help a small portion of the more than 400 children and teens the district has identified as homeless so far this year.

“It's very overwhelming because it means to me there are lots of children out there,” said Gale Swenson with the Sioux Falls School District.

Two pieces of fleece, tied together to make a simple blanket, will soon help to bring some comfort this winter to families and children who are living through hard times.

“We have families who live in cars, those types of things. We don't think about that, and we don't think about the children that can be affected because that's not our stereotype of what homelessness is,” she explained.

Swenson works closely with homeless students in the district. She says district officials keep track of the number of families and children who are without a home as the school year progresses.

So far, they've already identified 422 students who could be classified as homeless. And by the end of the year, they expect that number to pass 700, which is a record high.

“We have had families who have had heat cut off, we have children sleeping on the floor without even a rug beneath them and if we can give them something to put over them and make their night a bit warmer, we'll do that,” Swenson said.

Swenson says the district's method of calculating homeless children is broader than many other organizations, which includes in its count multiple families forced to live together for financial reasons and children who can't afford basic needs.

Nevertheless, she says there is a problem of homeless children in the city, and it’s going to take an entire community's support to give struggling families and abandoned children the help they need.

“Nobody wants to be homeless, nobody wants to be poor, everyone wants to provide for their children so they can have a good education and become good members of the community,” Swenson said.

The blankets will be given to families and children the district has identified are in need next week.

____ For those interested in finding ways to help, here are a few links I found: (They aren't in Sioiux Falls, but still do admirable work in this field.)

Department of Homeless Services

Minnehaha County Human Services

Good Shepard Center

Google maps this has a list of shelters and help centers in Sioux Falls

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