Tracking the homeless population in Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County is a task that takes a high-level of commitment which the Homeless Coalition is willing to undertake.

Coordinator Stacey Tieszen looks past the numbers and tries to determine some of the factors behind the plight of the homeless. Some of the underlying factors boils down to previous experience which would be a gamble for landlords.

“The big one seems to be the lack of places to people move into especially considering anyone who has a challenging background. Employment also becomes a big issue in this community not because there’s not jobs, but because there are so many jobs a lot of these people can hop around. Unfortunately that makes for an exacerbated condition with credit.”

The homeless often get caught in a vicious cycle as Tieszen believes life in the shelter can conjure up old habits.

“A lot of the individuals who are really getting stuck in the shelter have that criminal background. People might be doing well, but because they can’t get out of that shelter they are really experiencing some issues with relapse. For people who have that background, it’s hard for them to move into anywhere (especially) into units that have (strict) criminal background checks.”

Through the first six months of this year Tieszen says the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House has hosted over 900 unduplicated individuals.

During the summer months, Tieszen says the homeless are more inclined to be outside where they gravitate toward secluded grassy areas.

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