SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A task force focusing on homelessness in Sioux Falls shared their ideas to the city council Tuesday on what can be done to help the issue.

Since this summer, the group has held eight meetings and many conversations with individuals across the city about homelessness.

The task force has four priorities. From interacting with the homeless population to housing to mental health services, there was a lot discussed.

Terry Liggins, founder of the Hurdle Life Coach Foundation, is a member of the task force. He says he moved into a shelter with his family when he was just 10 years old.

“That’s my first encounter with homelessness. And then five years ago in my own re-entry, about a year after I was released from incarceration, I had another kind of unfolding of my own housing instability and I was homeless again for awhile and then got back on my feet, and now today I’m doing better,” he said.

Liggins says being a part of the task force is rewarding.

“When we as community can realize that people who lived it, and then overcome it and are now maintaining a healthy responsible life, they have a very huge amount of value to add in lending that lived experience,” Liggins said.

City council member, Rich Merkouris, is in charge of the task force, and says there are four main things they’re focusing on.

“Two-year pilot project of something called a street outreach team. A public education campaign helping people, how to respond to homelessness. Really increasing participation in the Helpline Network of Care, exploring ‘Housing First’ strategies that’s used around the country and then doing a critical review of our panhandling and loitering ordinances,” he said.

One of the goals of the street outreach progam would be to reduce the amount of 911 calls and the need to send law enforcement because of homelessness.

“Sending other individuals that are there to help get people connected into a system of care in our community,” he said.

Those people could come from a local organization such as Southeastern Behavioral Health.

Another priority is to strengthen connections among nonprofits and other organizations by creating a database to share information.

“It will improve how they’re caring for someone because they know how that person is being cared for elsewhere. Also to help them understand, what can they provide that maybe is unique versus other agencies,” Merkouris said.

However, all these plans come with a cost.

“Over three years, we’re looking at $977,000, plus some potential funding for a ‘Housing First’ strategy. Over the next couple of months, we bring in budget supplements before the city council,” Merkouris said.

Merkouris says they are working with the city administration right now to determine the best source of funds for these projects. They hope to bring forward some new ordinances and ideas in the next month or two.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the plans, they are attached here.