I have been hearing rumors for years from Minnehaha County officials (elected and non-elected) that other towns and cities were buying bus tickets and sending their homeless to Sioux Falls. During the meeting on Monday, this was confirmed by Kari Benz from the MC. She said while many other towns in SOUTH DAKOTA were sending them here to take care of them, they also come from Florida, Texas and California.
While it is disappointing we are getting people from other states, what is more disheartening is our fellow SD communities have decided to use Sioux Falls as a dumping ground for what they might consider undesirables. I would encourage MC to start sending these towns and counties a bill for providing the services. Other counties can’t use MC’s jail without paying a fee so why do they think they can just use our homeless services for free? The homeless doesn’t pay for these services, WE DO, the taxpayers of this community and county.
I have said to solve some of these issues, we are going to have to work with all parties and taxpayers. We spend millions each year in operating, bond payments and maintenance of our entertainment facilities (some of which sat completely empty for a year during Covid) but we don’t have any money to build another overnight shelter? Give me a break!
This is what happens when you have growth for growth sakes and throw gasoline on the fire of development with 20 year tax rebates (TIFs) and other incentives. The incentive needs to be in job training, affordable housing and wage increases. The developers, banksters and bondsters are fat enough, let them sleep under a bridge every once in awhile.