If it saves us money in law enforcement, it makes sense

Councilor Erpenbach must have had a cup of coffee and calculator at last week’s working session;

“The Bishop Dudley is open as an emergency shelter year round and the numbers of people that are using the facility are far and away what we thought they would be,” said Councilor Michelle Erpenbach, who along with Greg Neitzert wants to amend Mayor Mike Huether’s proposed budget to bolster the shelter’s funding to $120,000 next year.

Neitzert said increasing Bishop Dudley’s funding will allow the non-profit to serve even more than the 1,500 guests that used the facility last year, which he thinks will create organic costs savings in future years.

“They save us money by helping people who otherwise would be on the streets and left to all of our social services and police to deal with,” Neitzert said. “I believe they run a very wonderful and efficient service and they require accountability by making them work. … It’s not just a permanent hotel. They’re giving them a hand up, not a handout.”

I would agree with Greg, like the Safehome the county runs, taxpayers save money by housing the chronically homeless alcoholics because they no longer are draining emergency resources and filling up the jail. Of course, Mr. 500K to his private tennis club disagrees;

Huether, who did not attend the work session*, said he’s apprehensive about dedicating resources beyond traditional functions of municipal government.

“We really have to be cautious in spending dollars on programs that are outside of regular government operations or facilities, even though they may be doing good things,” he wrote. “It is so incredibly hard to have to say ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ to good folks and organizations, but it is also absolutely necessary if you are going to have good city government on solid financial ground.”

Trust me, I would much rather see my money spent on something else, but this facility is helping to keep people off the streets, so it is money well spent. Unlike $500K to Huether’s private tennis machine shed that has done ZERO to reduce crime and homelessness in Sioux Falls. What is going on out there anyway? We have never gotten a report.

*I wonder why the mayor didn’t go to the work session? According to B-n-B he is a council member, shouldn’t he be at these meetings?



1 comment so far ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 08.29.16 at 10:08 pm

I’m impressed that two Councilors are trying to assist with the city homeless problem. The sadistic mayor only funds country club style spending for bankers and doctors. His solution for homelessness is watch them starve or freeze. Occasionally, on an event weekend, he rounds them up on false charges for the county to pay their imprisonment.

Leave a Comment