Entries Tagged 'Homeless' ↓

The situation at The Dudley House is worsening

I have often assumed that it was only a matter of time that people started dying in the parking lot at the Dudley House. Only a few months ago a stabbing occurred across the street and we also found out recently that calls to that intersection (area) make up 20% of ALL police calls in our city.

Now someone has died in their car in the parking lot due to a fire. While there is an ongoing investigation, some of my city hall moles have told me what initially was found. It was likely NOT foul play or an ACCIDENT. There is also a rumor going around that the person was a resident of the facility but was having some conflicts with them.

Like I said, the investigation is ongoing, but the SFFD needs to be upfront and honest with what happened, no matter what it was. You must first face the truth before solving a problem.

As you know, I have been pressuring the Mayor and the City Council to act with a task force that involves the entire neighborhood and other city resources. I have been told over the last couple of days the new Police Chief has been trying to come up with a strategy to fix some of the issues. I remain adamant this is a community issue that must to solved publicly and transparently involving many groups. I would even be willing to serve on the task force since this issue does overflow into my neighborhood almost a mile away.

I honestly believe that the reason no public task force is being put together is because it is 4 months from an election and if certain people in office just ignore the problem or try to quietly solve it on their own it will just go away.

I wish Chief Thum the best of luck, but I think he knows this will take a village to solve not a quiet baton.

Sioux Falls Dudley House Director blames VA and Poor Public Transit for Homeless issues

In November, the Director of the Dudley House Homeless shelter, Madeline Shields, shared her frustration with Jon Micheals on FORUM. While she praised the SFPD she shared a lot of frustration with how the VA doesn’t help (without using their name) and that Public Transit is almost non-existent on the weekends. While I would agree with her public transit is a complete turd mobile and the VA is a joke, there are solutions.

She said that it is hard for people who live in the shelter to get to work on the weekends if they work at hotels without public transit. First off, the hotels could pick them up since most of them have shuttle buses and secondly, this is what happens when you build a shelter where there are few jobs nearby for those who live there.

As for the VA, why not have a constant/permanent contact with them, or better yet, get in touch with our supposed three pro-veteran congressional delegates and tell them the issues (oh that’s right none of them have ever served.)

Shields also said that in order for them to get work, they must have a birth certificate to get an ID and those items should be FREE to the residents. Or, the shelter could start and endowment fund to help them pay for it? They come up with $200 a day for lunch, but don’t have a fund for IDs? OR get a hold of our legislators and get it changed.

There is also a need for more FELON FRIENDLY housing, which I would agree, but developers and contractors work on a GREED only basis. TIFs for Condos NOT for former CONVICTS.

She also says many choose to live outside instead of taking advantage of the shelter. While this is true, they certainly don’t need to be using your parking lot, we can come up with options.

I get her frustration with how many government programs are set up OR not set up, but this is why I have been telling people you have to put many heads together to come up with a solution(s). Just going on FORUM and complaining about it doesn’t fix it.

Honestly, I don’t understand the resistant to trying to solve this issue. Shields is right, it’s not all in her lap, but she has to be willing to reach out for solutions. Homelessness doesn’t solve itself on its own. Maybe after the City Council and Mayor get their 30% raise next year, they’ll start tackling the homeless issue ☹

Someone from the Sioux Falls Media finally covers the Chaos at the Dudley House

Another Broken Poops Promise, when he was running for Mayor he said he would close the Dudley House because he would eliminate homelessness in Sioux Falls. That reminds me of the time I said I would not get drunk on St. Patty’s then 20 minutes later I was finishing my 3rd Irish Car bomb (they are very delicious).

The Argus finally did a story about it, the day they shut off the presses and made it only for online subscribers which is an intriguing editing decision from the braintrust running that joint.

What is that saying about a bear in the woods?

While it is an interesting story (that no one will see or read), this part literally had me fall out of my chair;

Since 2017, failure to vacate has been the top call to police near Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue. Thus far in 2021, it’s accounted for 20% of the 531 criminal reports taken by the police, according to data collected by the Argus Leader.

Maybe I am reading that wrong (I hope I am) but ONE intersection in this city accounts for 20% of the city’s criminal calls and reports in the entire city!? WTF!?

As I have said in the past, there is NO one solution, but in order to have a solution people need to put their heads together. That means people who live in the neighborhood, the businesses, the SFPD the City Council, churches and many others. When is the City Council and Mayor (you know, the supposed leaders of this town who drive autonomous vehicles thru Tuesday night meetings) going to call on a task force to be put together and have aggressive public meetings to combat this? A vigorous open public discussion with the community could put some solutions in motion. Blaming Covid for the problem or as Police Chief Thumbs did the ‘neighborhood’ area just doesn’t cut it.

Of course, you will see little to no action, even though I do know that some councilors and patrol officers do want solutions, but who has time for 8th & Indiana when we have Blizzards to hand out at Dairy Queen?

Sioux Falls Panhandling signs are being covered up

I’ll say it again, those who are panhandling are NOT doing it because of food insecurity, they are doing it to get drunk. I have watched this activity for several years in my neighborhood. But I disagree with the signs instructing people to give to charity. I have often said the signs should say something like, ‘GIVING TO PANHANDLERS WHILE THEY OBSTRUCT TRAFFIC IS AGAINST THE LAW’ SD CL 22-18-40

Codified Laws § 22-18-40. Unless otherwise directed by law enforcement or other emergency personnel or to seek assistance for an emergency or inoperable vehicle, no person may stand upon the paved or improved or main-traveled portion of any highway with intent to impede or stop the flow of traffic.

Panhandling is a protected 1st Amendment freedom, what is NOT legal is for the drivers to hand them money from the window of their cars while they impede traffic. I have said we need to change city ordinance so that the panhandler isn’t charged but the driver for luring them into traffic.

Sioux Falls Media ignoring the issues with the Bishop Dudley House neighborhood, and it’s PATHETIC!

As we know this happened this week;

A Sioux Falls man who was stabbed in the head earlier this week has died in a hospital, police say. 
Christopher Joel Mousseaux, 32, was stabbed Sunday night and died Wednesday night, police spokesman Sam Clemens said. An autopsy was set to be performed Thursday.
Steven Tuopeh, 26, and Jeff Pour, 28, were arrested separately on Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault, Clemens said.
Mousseaux was stabbed around 10:30 p.m. Sunday near Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue, Clemens said.

For several months the Dudley House exterior property and adjacent public property has been the stomping ground for transients not allowed in the facility. They have been crapping, urinating, drinking, shootin’ up, fighting, sleeping and fornicating on the property or adjacent public property. Neighborhood complaints have been lodged at the SFPD, the Sioux Falls City Council, the Mayor, the Catholic Diocese who runs the house, the house director herself and several other organizations who assist the facility to no avail.

Now we have a person who has been murdered. Stabbed and beaten to death.

(the incident supposedly started at a bar on 8th and occurred directly North of the Dudley in a parking lot the volunteers use at the Banquet)

The media really needs to report the facts of what is going on in and around the Dudley House in that neighborhood, this is NOT a random isolated incident, the area around this facility has fallen into complete chaos and NOBODY wants to fix it and the MEDIA is dead silent about it.

We may humor the term ‘Fake News’ but in Sioux Falls we have ‘No News’.

It seems the city is handling this like they handled Covid, ignore it and maybe it will eventually go away.

Forget Del Rio, TX – We have 8th & Indiana

It is 1,169 miles from Del Rio to Sioux Falls. As I listened to all these Right Winger A-Clowns call into the Belfrage show this morning crying about something this far away we have our own little crisis going on right over by the Bishop Dudley House (you know, the place that was going to solve all of our homeless issues). In tonight’s photo album you can see occurring simultaneously on public and their private property fights, drinking, needles, homeless laundry and various other activities. As I understand it the Dudley House says not our problem, the cops say not our problem and the surrounding business owners say WTF?

In my opinion the city leaders and YES the taxpayers of this city have a responsibility to clean this up since we decided that this partnership and location was going to work. So guess what, it’s time to MAKE IT WORK or shut it down.

Cruise control government at it’s finest. (click on photo to enlarge)

Dudley House area is a disaster

Last Saturday afternoon I rode by on my bicycle and the whole area looked like a garbage truck had exploded, blankets were strewn all over the sidewalks and boulevards. When I took the picture below today, the garbage seemed to be cleaned up (probably blew away) but many of the homeless who are NOT permitted in the shelter, are sleeping on the public sidewalks in front, and it has been going on all summer.

I warned the city council when approving this location that an already strained neighborhood would get worse, and it has. Besides being baffled by why this is being allowed to exist (we supplement the House’s budget) what is the city doing about it? Absolutely nothing!

What makes it even sadder is that the city also employs the house’s director as a part-time employee for CityLink.

One of TenHaken’s campaign promises when he ran 3 years ago was that he would eliminate homelessness. It has actually gotten worse.

There are two solutions we should have done to begin with. The shelter should have been built just North of the jail and not in the middle of a neighborhood on a busy street. Also, the shelter that used to provide cots for the intoxicated should have never closed.

Between panhandling and now the Dudley Sidewalk Slumber Parties our leadership needs to be working on solutions instead of just cutting checks. Of course, this isn’t going on in their neighborhoods, so they don’t give 2 rips.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls(?) finally addressing panhandlers?

UPDATE: The sign was gone this morning and must have been removed last night. Me thinks someone wasn’t quite following the rules.

Imagine my surprise today while driving down Cliff at the intersection of 14th Street when I saw the traffic sign below, which read in 3 frames; GIVE TO . . . CHARITY . . . NOT TO PANHANDLERS.

At first I thought this may be the handy work of the city, but I am not sure, there wasn’t much info from the sign itself. If it is the city, I guess I should say ‘thanks’ for finally doing something, but this wasn’t my suggestion, I said to put in permanent signage at the intersections informing motorists it is illegal to impede traffic while handing money out the window with the listed ordinance and fine.

I’m also not even sure if this is following sign code, even if the city put it up. Also, what is it costing taxpayers? If this was a private political donation of sorts, shouldn’t there be a disclaimer?

If the city truly did this (it is on city bike trail property) it would be nice if the mayor or the part-time mayor, Beck, at least put out a press release about it.

While I applaud the administration for possibly doing this, I continue to be baffled by the way these things are done. Cruise control government at it’s finest.

Maybe they should put a Girl Scout cookie stand next to it?

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000′

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.

Are we currently triaging people in Sioux Falls?

As you can see the LINK is coming soon, and something this community has needed for a very long time. But aren’t we currently triaging now? According to MCC Dean Karsky we are, but it is not a very nice place. Welcome to addiction.

Starting last summer (2019) I noticed my neighborhood became quite popular for pan handling, drinking and bridge dwellers. Everyday the same group of folks, about 6 of them, begin panhandling on the corner of 14th and Cliff. Once they get enough money for malt liquor, they go over to Get N’ Go, load up, either go under the bridge on Cliff or along the bike trail, drink until they pass out and take a nap. Like clockwork, this happens almost every day, and every day the SFPD show up and herd them away. And they are still at it, even this late in the year. I had only seen the ambulance show up once and have never seen a police take any of these people to triage or jail. They usually pour out their beers, and herd them away.

In fact just a few weeks ago, I saw an officer on an ATV literally herding a couple of them like they were cattle by the skate park. I’m not sure where he was herding them to? Well you know what the mayor says, we have a cowboy mentality so maybe this a good old fashioned homeless round up? Giddy Up!

While I look forward to the much needed new triage center opening, I hope the SFPD will start using it instead herding these folks like cattle to another bridge.

Solving our homeless issue is NOT a game of whack a mole and I am wondering when our supposed leaders in town are going to take it seriously.