Entries Tagged 'Homeless' ↓

City of Sioux Falls to have meeting about homeless issues at a Wine Bar

Oh, I had to do a double-take when I saw this;

Sioux Falls City Councilors and other City officials will meet with members of the Whitter neighborhood business community Wednesday.

The meeting is at 1 p.m. at the R Wine meeting room, 322 East 8th Street.

According to an email from planning and development services, the meeting has been officially noticed so Councilors can attend.

The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House and the Union Gospel Mission will discuss their programs’ policies and things that have worked and not worked for them over the years. The Sioux Falls Police will also discuss how they have been trying to address issues in the neighborhood.

Would you like a little cheese with your ‘whine’ business owner? When the city has a meeting, they should have it in a city owned building with FREE daytime parking. While I like Ricardo’s place, it is certainly not the appropriate venue for discussing this issue.

It makes me wonder if they are trying to get ‘certain’ people out of the discussion. I know that when councilor Stehly organized the first meeting, Grant Houwman (Million Dollar Condos/TIF Funding man-Washington Square) interjected himself and tried to cause a little chaos by inviting more councilors to create a quorum issue (I see they fixed that this time). He seems to have some butt hurt issues over Stehly. My philosophy is that you don’t always have to agree with a politician on every issue, but if you are both working towards the same result, it’s best to suck it up, and work together. This is what has often irritated me about the RS5, they just simply made a pact to vote against anything the RW3 wants to do, whether it is good or not. As I told a gentleman last night who follows the blog, “City government is one step forward and three steps back. It’s getting worse.”

Downtown Sioux Falls is turning into a great place to take a nap

Mind you, the guy below may have been just legitimately taking an ‘intended’ nap, though I think laying in the sun at 6 PM in the evening probably wasn’t ‘planned’. He also didn’t look homeless, he had on brand new sneakers and a nice backpack.

But the bigger point is more and more I have been seeing people DTSF taking ‘naps’ in some of the most random spots, and others have noticed. It happens a lot around the Dudley House and Nelson Park. The other day I saw a guy passed out in front of the Holiday Inn on the sidewalk.

While I have seen this along the bike trails for years, it seems this summer the locations of these ‘naps’ are becoming more dangerous.

I guess yesterday a drunken brawl broke out by the Dudley House until a citizen broke it up. I have thought all along concentrating our homeless services in a neighborhood was NOT a good idea. I had suggested like the County’s Safe Home that a shelter should have been built by the jail.

New Housing Director Unruh wants to charge $20 to attend public housing summit on a Thursday

It seems more training needs to be done on open government, and since Unruh lost her city council race in Tea yesterday (24/33 – That’s the vote count, not percentage) she will have plenty of time to figure it out.

She did a presentation yesterday on a Sioux Falls Housing Summit during the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting. While the concept is a good idea, it ignores the whole purpose of having a public summit without making it available to the public. Yes, the public input sessions later in the day ARE open to the public w/o paying a registration fee, but there are some other issues with this summit.

• They are only asking people who are basically (dirt) poor to comment about housing. Most of the people who are affected by affordable housing are actually people who are working and struggling to pay rent or mortgage and spreading themselves thin working multiple jobs. These are the biggest ‘chunk’ of people that need to be served, but see, there is very little ‘government handouts’ for these folks so they focus on the very poor and underserved so they can gobble up that grant money. Who wants to hear from the working poor anyway? Please, get back to work!

• The event is NOT being filmed (or planned to be filmed) and they are hosting it on a Thursday instead of a Saturday when persons from the public could attend. This of course is done on purpose so the bureaucrats don’t have to work on a Saturday for the people they SHOULD be working for, the public. We would hate to inconvenience them while collecting a paycheck from us.

• They are charging a $20 fee for people to attend a public event. They argue this is to pay for the grub. Couldn’t they find a sponsor for the grub? The past mayor used to host a Saturday neighborhood conference that was FREE, with FREE food at a public venue (The Orpheum) and was filmed. Even if the most transparent mayor in the history of our city (snarc) can figure this out, I’m sure a Tea, SD resident can figure it out.

Once again, in attempt to make all the Harvardy, Bloombergy, New Yorky peeps happy about PTH’s night courses on leadership and innovation, the administration is missing the bigger picture about serving the public . . . it’s about serving the public.

City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County share the cost of Homeless study

So at the non-televised joint city council and commission meeting today, the entities decided to split the cost of this study; Homeless-Study

While I think the study is needed, I’m wondering why Augustana (a private university) had to get reimbursed for a ‘research’ project? I guess Augie has trouble scrounging together $27K. Well that’s what you get when you have a Democrat running the joint, poor fundraising skills . . . ouch.

What is also ironic, the local government entity that serves the most homeless, poor and underpriviledged in our community didn’t contribute a penny to the study (SF School District). I guess they have already identified their homeless issues.

City wants input from poor crippled homeless colored folk

So the city wants your input, well really not YOUR input;

People of low and moderate income, people who are homeless, racial and ethnic minorities, people of limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and entities that provide services to these populations are specifically encouraged to attend.

Yet, they don’t want these people showing up to public input at the regular council meetings? What gives?

We don’t have an affordable housing issue in Sioux Falls, we have a wage issue.

I have often said our affordable housing program needs an entirely different approach. Instead of tearing down houses (that we could fix up for much less) and building new structures (that we take a hit on when we sell them) we could be using the money to re-fab older homes and apartments. The city gets about $2.1 million in Federal funds a year. You could fix up between 60-80 homes for that money instead of just building 20 homes at a loss. You could also set up financing, etc. which could triple that number easily.

Mayor TenHaken needs to clean house in community development and affordable housing and take a new approach that is committed to providing more core neighborhood cleanup than just a couple houses here and there and setup a program that focuses on entire neighborhoods instead looking for poor people to fill their quota.

Marc Eichenbaum, one of the country’s leading innovators with expertise in the area of ending homelessness

This is NOT an endorsement of Jolene, I just liked what Marc had to say. Especially his thoughts on celebrating reducing numbers instead of celebrating helping more people. He also brings up how it is cheaper (for taxpayers) to find the homeless housing than continuing to leave them homeless. This is something I preach constantly. It just makes economic sense to get people working and providing for themselves instead constantly dependent on programs. We really do make it too easy in SF.

Homelessness & Affordable Housing Solutions

Anyone can be a problem finder, but being a problem solver is what Sioux Falls needs and what I'll do as mayor. I was honored to spend time this weekend with Marc Eichenbaum, one of the country's leading innovators with expertise in the area of ending homelessness and creating affordable housing. With programs like those lead by Marc, Houston reduced homelessness in five years by more than 60%.Marc and I were able to record a video during part of our discussion about solutions that could work for Sioux Falls.#letsgojo #cityofopportunity #siouxfalls

Posted by Jolene Loetscher – Sioux Falls Mayor 2018 on Sunday, October 22, 2017

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

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?

Congrats Cathy!

brechtelsbauer-jpg

Cathy Brechtelsbauer, of Sioux Falls, was the recipient of the McGovern South Dakota Hunger Ambassador Award for her work as a longtime volunteer for Bread for the World.

Brechtelsbauer received the award Thursday during the McGovern Hunger Summit at Dakota Wesleyan University. She has been serving as the South Dakota coordinator for Bread for the World for more than 30 years. Her primary efforts revolve around policy reform to aid those with the fewest resources.

Consequences of the Dudley House zoning decision

The Sioux Falls city council had a discussion today during the informational about what to do with the problem at Heritage Park. I have no idea of what a solution would look like, it’s like whack a mole. But I do see how this came about.

• Concentrating all the poor and homeless services into one neighborhood (deciding to put the Bishop Dudley house next to the Banquet).

• Allowing alcohol in some parks but not in others (eliminate it in all parks).

• Lots of poor and impoverished people in Sioux Falls (crap wages).

The city council isn’t going to solve this problem overnight, but first they have to look at the symptoms of the disease and realize where they messed up, then correct the bad decisions that were made in the past.