SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People struggle with hunger and homelessness every day.

In fact, the Sioux Falls School District has identified just over 600 students as homeless this year.

This week, those issues are in the spotlight during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Groups gathered at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House as Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken proclaimed November as hunger and homeless awareness month in the city.

The Union Gospel Mission is one of several organizations serving the homeless in Sioux.

Executive Director Eric Weber says the shelter is currently housing about 120 guests, including 19 children.

“That’s a little up. We’re seeing an uptick now that it’s cold, so people are not sleeping outside or in garages, so they’re coming indoors,” Union Gospel Mission executive director Eric Weber said.

While the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House has helped many people transition to self-sufficiency, executive director Madeline Shields offered another part of the story.

“But what you don’t hear about very often are the people who come to our doors the very first time. They are broken. They are sad. They’re at the lowest point in their lives and they actually cannot believe they are facing hunger, homelessness,” Bishop Dudley Hospitality House executive director Madeline Shields said.

On Monday, speakers highlighted the collaboration happening in the community to help those in need.

“We can bring hope to the hopeless and we can rise them up, but we have to do it together,” Weber said.

The events continued Monday afternoon with a walk and service at the homeless memorial in downtown Sioux Falls.

Purple flags were placed in the ground for the 53 people who died in the Sioux Falls area this year who were homeless, who once experienced homelessness, or were advocates.