Siouxland organizations gather to discuss solutions for homeless population

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:14 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Sioux City continues to struggle with solutions to homelessness.

Tuesday morning, the “Siouxland Coalition to End Homelessness” presented to local agencies its findings following a survey of the city’s homeless population. The survey was done last year, and almost 100 homeless people were interviewed about what the city’s organizations can do to help them.

Questions included:

  • What are the barriers that prevent you from securing a stable job?
  • What would be most helpful to help get access to mental health needs?
  • What are some things that Sioux City government, organizations and business leaders could do that would be helpful to you?

“80% of the people we interviewed really wanted to change their lives; they wanted to improve things for themselves,” said Julia Kleinschmit, who was a speaker at the event, and is a clinical professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work. “Some of the obstacles that they encounter are things like not having affordable housing, not having transportation systems that work for them, and not having a place to store really important things like their drivers’ licenses, that you need to do everyday life.”

Representatives from the Sioux City City Council, local nonprofits, first responders and even people who have experienced homelessness talked about ideas to help those that need it the most.

“You need a public/private partnership and the political will to make change for the people who are the most vulnerable,” said Kleinschmit. “These are our sisters and neighbors, and really but for the grace of God, this could be any of us. Creating opportunities and the incentive for creating more affordable housing; that may take some time but it sounds like there’s the energy to do it.”

If you’d like to stay up to date with the Siouxland Coalition to End Homelessness, or if you’d like to get involved, follow this link.

The organization “Siouxland Sleep Out” says there are around 250 to 300 homeless people in Siouxland on any given day. The organization says entire families are living on the streets including women and children. Over 25% of Siouxland’s homeless are veterans from those who served in Vietnam, to the latest conflict.