SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Many of us may view doing our laundry as a nuisance, but for those who have spent time living in the streets, having clean clothes is not something to take for granted. And Wednesday one organization was helping the homeless population of Sioux Falls in a big way with a whole lot of laundry soap.
Dylan Smith is a guest at the St. Francis House but he also works at Smithfield Foods. So being able to do laundry is important.
“I work at a smokehouse. So coming home smelling like bacon and hams, it’s nice to have the access to free laundry soap. Be able to do our laundry, not smell and stink in the halls, wash our bedding,” Smith said.
And thanks to a donation from the Knights of Columbus, Smith and all the other guests at the St. Francis House will have access to free laundry soap for a whole year.
“Be able to know that they can wash clothing as many times as they want gives a great sense of hope and it also gives self-worth that they are just like the rest of us wanting to have clean clothes and be able to look presentable when they go to work or go out in the community looking for a job,” Julie Becker, executive director of the St. Francis House, said.
This is a bi-yearly donation that the group’s been making for 10 years now to not only the St. Francis House but also the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House and the Union Gospel Mission.
“I can’t think of anything that’s any better to one’s self-esteem than clean clothes. So that’s basically been our goal is to make sure that happens,” Jim Coburn, chairman of the soap drive, said.
“See I’ve been homeless and actually haven’t been able to do laundry for weeks at a time so it’s awesome to have this much coming in. It’s just fantastic,” Smith said.
The Knights of Columbus is set up with the Catholic Community Foundation so donations for the Soap for the Homeless drive can be made through that. As for donations to the St. Francis House, Becker says they are in desperate need of tennis shoes for guests.