• JLSF uses the Little Black Dress Initiative to combat poverty in Sioux Falls

    The week of Jan. 28-Feb. 1, Junior League of Sioux Falls members will be wearing their little black dresses to raise awareness — and funds — to combat poverty. You’ll be able to tell by the “Ask Me About My Little Black Dress” buttons, which the women will wear each day, as they also wear the same black dress.

    Many women living in poverty don’t have choices. Wearing the same clothing for a week is a visual way to raise awareness of the reality many women live every day with the lack of access to suitable work clothing. Poverty limits resources, options and even the ways you can express yourself — making it harder to make better life choices.

    Why is the Little Black Dress Initiative needed?
    Here’s some statistics about poverty in the Sioux Falls Metro Area:

    • 28,285 people are estimated to live below poverty levels
    • 15% increase for people needing food assistance
    • Despite a slightly lower cost of living, healthcare costs, which would seem to be more affordable given the staunch healthcare community in the Sioux Falls area, are higher than the national average (100) at 102.2 
    • 17,816 people in Minnehaha County rely on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
    • 50% of Sioux Falls School District students (district-wide), qualify for free or reduced-priced meals
    • 438 homeless students in 220 families with 13 unaccompanied youth were identified by the Sioux Falls School District
    • 200,000 meals approximately were served by the Banquet

    Poverty in South Dakota

    • 3 South Dakota counties are among the 12 poorest in the U.S. (based on per capita income)
    • Ranked 18th among those states most federally dependent on government assistance
    • 11.8% of South Dakotans were uninsured (South Dakota ranked 32nd nationally)
    • With the 2018 minimum wage of $8.85/hour, a person would need to work more than 65 hours per week to afford an average two-bedroom apartment
    • 31% of children live in a single-parent family
    • 17% of South Dakotan children are living in poverty (as of the 3rd quarter in 2018)
    • 4% to 53% is the range for children in poverty rates among South Dakota counties

    * Statistics provided by U.S. Census Bureau, Gallup, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls Business Journal South Dakota State Report, Minnehaha County Advisory Board, and Rapid City Journal. Statistics based on 2017 information, unless otherwise specified.

    JLSF is partnering with Dress for Success Sioux Falls. Our goal is to provide 50 pairs of non-skid, black shoes for Dress for Success clients. The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Their most needed items are black non-skid shoes, new underwear, and socks. Volunteer opportunities at Dress for Success include clothes sorting and Career and Client coaching.

    Fast Facts from Dress for Success:

    • More than 1,400 women served since opening in October 2013
    • More than 88 referral partners in and around Sioux Falls
    • 499 client referrals in 2017
    • 67% of our clients in 2017 were between the ages 25-50
    • 95% of our clients are mothers; 48% are single mothers
    • 65% of our clients received public assistance
    • 74% of clients finished high school or have a GED; 24% have a college degree or other advanced degree

    How can you help?

    • Make a donation online. In the “Write Note (optional)” section, add LBDI and the name of the person you’re donating for. Once all fields are completed, click on “Donate Now” button to finalize your donation
    • You can also donate using cash or checks by connecting with a JLSF member. Checks can be made out to Junior League of Sioux Falls. In the memo line, please put LBDI. Mail to JLSF, 1000 N. West Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57104.
    • Want to participate? Email JLSFLittleBlackDress@gmail.com.


  • Thank you to Nicole Roemen, DC for the awesome presentation at our March General Membership Meeting!
    Active JLSF Member and Chiropractor Nikki Roemen spoke to our members on March 15th about women's health and how acupuncture could help with some issues like adrenal fatigue, allergies, and menopausal symptoms.