SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Helpline Center here in Sioux Falls has come a long way since going statewide in 2020.

2022 was a busy year for the Helpline Center.

“We have seen great growth as an agency since 2020, just between the pandemic and other programs- services,” said Betsy Schuster, VP of Program Development.

Last year the center took over 70 thousand calls, texts and emails from all across South Dakota.

“It was a lot of food pantry calls and a lot of rental resources. There’s a lot of need out there right now for rent and utility payments, and assistance. So we did provide a lot of calls regarding those topics,” said Jen Meinert, Helpline Specialist.

Jen Meinert celebrated her one year anniversary at the Helpline Center today. She says getting to help people is her favorite part of the job.

“It kind of fills my cup, knowing that I’m trying to make a little difference in the world. I work with some amazing human beings, and we all really care about the people we talk with in providing the best resources that we can for this state,” Meinert said.

Betsy Schuester with the Helpline Center says they will continue working to raise awareness for what the center does.

“Whether it’s a food question, or utility question or rent question, or where to renew my driver’s license type questions, our staff will be there 24/7 in a non-judgmental way to get you connected,” Schuester said. “We will continue providing assistance to those who need it.

National 2-1-1 Day is this Saturday. The Bagel Boy on Minnesota Avenue will be wearing 2-1-1 t-shirts and sharing printed resources with customers.