The New Year usually marks a fresh start. An event in Sioux Falls is looking to create a new beginning in 2014 for the area's homeless.
"I'm having fun!"
New Year, New You provides some fun and excitement for those who only used to struggling.
"We usually camp out under this bridge but this is really a good thing, and I appreciate everybody that came together," Donna Peniksa said.
The free event is put on by the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church with help from numerous sponsors and donations from the community. Families receive things we take for granted: a warm meal, books, clothes, and even haircuts. This event tries to help in the long-run by providing communication to homeless shelters and helping people get job.
"We're just hoping that it's just the start of their new life pretty much and they'll have a career, a place to stay and call home, and just that financial support they need," Youth Assistant at Gloria Dei Sam Kennedy said.
Long time Sioux Falls resident, who only wanted to be called by his nickname "Taco," knows first-hand what these kinds of events can mean to the area homeless, especially this time of the year.
"My friends that live in Sioux Falls are living on the streets, they're all my friends, my family. I think it's really nice they can get out of the cold elements for a little bit," Taco said.
There was only about two months of planning and fundraising for the event, but the final product means a lot to those who need it most.
"Thank you for taking your time out in your busy schedules to come make the homeless people warm, feed them, help them, talk to them, all that. I think that's really nice of you guys to do this," Taco said.
Even with all the good that happened for the homeless inside these doors today, once the doors close, more help will still be needed.
"This is really a good thing, a meal, a meal, and then after this I'm going to take them home and I don't know where to go," Peniska said.
The event brought close to 250 people, and there is talk about another one in the next couple months.
If you are interested in volunteer or donating items call Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at (605) 357-3737 and ask for Sandy Berven.