SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — With the temperatures beginning to drop, Siouxland warming shelters are gearing up for an influx of homeless residents.

According to, roughly 3,000 people in Iowa are homeless leaving many looking for temporary shelter.

“We’re seeing new faces we’ve never seen before, so yeah I mean it’s definitely the number of homeless and those that are in need have grown tremendously. So, yeah I expect to continue to be a bigger number every day,” said Paul Mahaffie, executive director at The Gospel Mission.

“The economy is kinda not in a good place right now, so a lot of people are finding themselves homeless. We have a, kinda of an influx of families that’s been inquiring about the shelter now lately,” said Waylon Goodwin, operations manager at the Warming Shelter.

With more homeless people in Siouxland, some local non-profits feed roughly 450 people a day. With that many people to feed, shelters may sometimes find themselves low on food supplies.

“I can tell you though, it’s sizable. this whole year our food bill budget has been gone for a long time ago,” said Mahaffie.

Not only do warming shelters feed people, but they house and give winter clothing to them as well.

“We have some donations; we have winter hats we give them; we provide them lodging overnight so they’re not stuck out behind a garbage dumpster and nothing like that sleeping in the cold frigid weather,” said Goodwin.

While the basic necessities like clothes, food, and shelter, may not seem like much for some Siouxlanders. To the homeless, it can mean the world.

“First year that I was here. we had a young lady that came up with a two-year-old and a three-year-old and she was gonna stay at our warming shelter. I ask her where she had been staying, and this is February okay, she said up under a bridge. just the opportunity for her to get those kids and herself out of that element, it meant a lot to her,” said Mahaffie.

“Everybody deserves shelter, a place to lay their hat, a place to get out of the rain, a place to get out of the bad weather and away from whatever situation they’re trying to get away from and just get some form of love. I look at the opportunity to stay here as a form of love from the person who runs this place,” said Jacob Mersch, a Sioux City homeless man.

If Siouxlanders want to help the homeless in our community, they can donate either time or money to a local organization, such as the Warming Shelter or the Gospel Mission.