SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Operation Hope Fund is working to give people in Sioux Falls more access to mental health resources.

Every November, officials grow out their facial hair for the fundraiser Novem-Burn. Funds raised from the event go back to the Hope Fund.

Officials with the City of Sioux Falls are starting their facial hair fundraising effort Novem-burn.

“We just need to look for people who are hurting or struggling with mental health issues. Be courageous enough to have conversations with them to maybe steer them towards sources,” said Police Chief John Thum.

The month-long fundraiser will benefit Operation Hope, which will use that money to provide those who need it financial help for mental health resources in the City.

“We have callers that are struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use, and the next best option for treatment for them is an outpatient program,” said Janet Kittams, Chief Executive Officer.

One Recipient of Operation Hope will be the Helpline Center. So far this year they have referred over 100 clients to the program.

“Sanford behavioral health, Avera behavioral health and Falls Community Health at the city. So all three of them accept referrals for Operation Hope. And once they they receive a referral from us, they reach out connect with that patient or client and schedule an appointment with them,” Kittams said.

The Link will also use these funds to connect residents to resources that support mental health and addiction.

“Operation Hope funds then are distributed to the link and the Link uses that through the social worker to put them to work for people who really do want to make a difference with their addiction struggles,” said Mayor Paul Tenhaken.

Creating conversation around a much-needed topic, one beard and sideburn at a time.