Rapid City women crochets mats for the homeless

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) It all started a few months ago when Randi Fortuin wanted to make a difference in her community.

"I noticed the Hope Center and started following them and I really like what they do so I started doing it for them," said Fortuin.

She makes mats for the homeless and they are made entirely out of grocery bags and plastic tablecloths.

"Each mat takes about 1,200 bags so that's a lot."

The self-proclaimed "plastic bag lady" says each mat takes an average of two weeks to crochet.

"Each one is 3 by 6 feet and I'm hoping the thrift stores end up getting those pool noodles because I want to incorporate a pillow at one end," said Fortuin.

The Hope Center says Fortuin has been making a big impact since November 2016.

"She has to cut the bags, and roll it into yarn and it's kind of a funny process, but they're very useful," The Hope Center Executive Director Anna Quinn.

And the mats are actually pretty soft Quinn says they're great for the homeless who have to sleep outside.

"Unfortunately there are people out there who are so it kind of creates a barrier between the individual and the ground. "

Fortuin wants to continue to make mats until April.

"That's what fills my heart with joy is donating."

If you'd like to help Fortuin, she is always in need of plastic bags. The hope center is one of the drop off locations for those bags.