Although the economy has turned around, many families still struggle to put food on the table, including those who live in a motel.
Don Jorgensen: This is home right here?
Amanda Wicks: Yep, sweet home.
Although Amanda Wicks, her husband and their 11-month-old daughter, Audree, are staying at the Arena Motel, this is no vacation. Her husband works full time, but they still can't afford a place on their own, not yet anyway.
"It's hard. We struggle every week, staying here weekly. Our van payment, insurance and we have to feed her and sometimes we only have $40 to pay for groceries for her," Wicks said.
Inside their tiny motel room, there's a bed, a refrigerator, microwave and not much else.
"Usually for breakfast, we just do doughnuts or cereal bars," Wicks said.
Cardboard boxes double as cupboards holding food, most of which has been donated, along with plates and silverware.
Inside the refrigerator, there are a couple of gallons of milk and microwave food, which Wicks is sometimes afraid to make for her daughter because it might have spoiled.
"She hasn't got sick yet, but who knows when. Sometimes it shuts off and it's not working," Wicks said.
When Wicks is out of money, she gets food from the food pantry or it's donated.
"I hate to ask people for food; kind of degrading to myself. I have friends who have given me food, going through their refrigerators so we can feed her," Wicks said.
Wicks isn't alone in her struggles to feed her family.
The Homeless Advisory Board estimates that are between 50 and 60 families at any given time in Sioux Falls in the exact situation: working, but living in a motel.
"People don't realize that, I can't afford day care. So therefore I stay home and take care of her. That's what's best. It's really hard. I don't think people realize how hard it is until they are in this situation," Wicks said.
Wicks says she and her husband hope to save up enough money for a security deposit and a pet deposit. But for now, they are getting by, just barely.
"This is no place for a child, but we got to do what we got to do to live. I don't want to be on the streets or living in my van; I'd rather have a roof over her head," Wicks said.
Wicks says there are times she won't eat, because she wants to make sure there's enough for her daughter.