SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls’ Homeless Task Force can now get the ball rolling for a ‘street outreach’ program. Tuesday night, the city council voted in favor of funding part of the pilot program.

The street outreach program will include trained professionals who interact with people experiencing homelessness and connecting them with resources. The council voted unanimously to provide $250,000 for the program’s first year.

Back in November, the task force made four recommendations for addressing homelessness in the city. Now, one of those ideas, the street outreach program will soon be up and running.

Council member Rich Merkouris is the task force chair.

“There’s been really good conversation about it, and I think people in the community have appreciated kind of this idea of having a really intentional approach of how we’re engaging with people and saying we need more than just the law enforcement in our toolbox,” Merkouris said.

Now that money has been appropriated, a request for proposal will soon go out in the community to determine which agency or agencies are selected for the two-year pilot.

“This program, I think, will do some remarkable things to to help people who are homeless and on the street, but to get them the help that they need so that they don’t interfere with other people in the public, and so people don’t freeze under a bridge or they aren’t out in the elements. We have lots of services in Sioux Falls. We just got to get them to the right place,” city councilor Pat Starr said.

There are some specific metrics Merkouris says they will watch closely.

“I think over the next two years, we’re going to learn a lot. Do we help people get connected to a system of services and do we lower the number of law enforcement calls? Those are the two things that I’m watching for the most,” he said.

In the coming months, they plan to find a community organization to head up the program with hopes to start the two-year pilot this summer.