Military and Family Support
In early 2012, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation gathered local non-profit, faith based, social service and government agencies for a Sea of Goodwill meeting, where veterans, military members and their families described the challenges facing military families.
As the meeting progressed, one thing became very clear: those who have sacrificed for our country feel under supported on the home front.
Person after person described their struggles with having a loved one deployed and leaving home to serve their country. The problems they faced ranged from the simple frustrations of day-to-day life, like snow removal, to crisis situations including divorce and substance abuse.
The meeting also included a time for area non-profit, social service and faith based organizations to share their ideas for helping veterans, military members and their families. As representatives from organizations began to talk, it became apparent community agencies have the desire and resources to help, but a disconnect exists between those who need assistance and those who want to provide support.
After the meeting, staff from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and the Sioux Empire United Way met to discuss the issues raised at the Sea of Goodwill. They wanted to address the needs of the families, connecting them with services and helping to fill gaps where little help is available by providing volunteers to assist military families.
The Helpline Center was identified as the community’s best resource to help make those connections, and the agency agreed to expand its current services to specifically better aid veterans, military members and their families.
The Helpline Center connects Sioux Empire residents with information and referrals to non-profit, social service and government agencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through its 211 phone number. 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities.
The Helpline Center agreed to expand its current services and provide specialized assistance to veterans, military members and their families living in Lincoln, Turner, McCook and Minnehaha Counties.