Entries Tagged 'Homeless' ↓

Melanie Bliss receives recognition, then tells it like it is.

Melanie Bliss has earned our admiration for her many years being involved in everything she has touched. Melanie does not just join an organization, she becomes the driving force.

Thank you Melanie!

Whittier neighborhood, the city’s social services dumping area?


“We should help the less fortunate among us, but move them out of my neighborhood first.”

I have been kind of on the fence about the expansion of a DAYTIME homeless shelter. On one hand, it will be needed, after the Good Shepard & Salvation Army close, and it will probably help alleviate some of the problems in the Whittier neighborhood with panhandlers and harassing neighbors.

BUT, on the other hand, it just seems our city has a track record of ‘moving’ these kind of problematic services into the Whittier neighborhood instead spreading them throughout the city. This shelter could be in several locations, in fact, one business owner suggested putting it in the VACANT Cathedral school, too which the new Planning Commission chair Nick ‘Mr. Bossy Pants Interrupter Jerk boy’ Sershen said it was too close to Hawthorne elementary (which he really meant to say it was too close to the Cathedral and the Bishop’s residence. The irony is that Bishop Swain talks about the sacrifice the Whittier neighborhood should make to help the least amongst us in a letter to the editor, yet doesn’t suggest the shelter be in his neighborhood.) But;

Krista Baartman, a member of the Whittier Neighborhood Association, said one of her biggest concerns is the proposed shelter’s proximity to Whittier Middle School.

“This is 100 feet out of the boundary for the school,” she said. “Are we going to be looking at violent criminals or sex offenders? We don’t know.”

And as a FB Whittier neighborhood commenter pointed out;

As a neighborhood, we already go above and beyond to help the low income and homeless citizens of Sioux Falls. Our concern as homeowners, business owners and parents is that the proposed size of the facility is 3x larger than the current Good Shepherd location and that no stipulations have been placed on the facility to outline their policy on drug and alcohol use, violent criminals and/ or sex offenders. As residents of the neighborhood, we have every right to be concerned. This facility is 2 blocks from Whittier Middle School and across the street from a very popular public swimming pool. These facilities are not used only by our neighborhood, but by a large number of residents in the city of Sioux Falls.

I truly believe the Diocese’s heart is in the right place for wanting to help this sector of our community, but they really need to find a different place. I have suggested closer to the courthouse, community health center and jail would make the most sense right on Minnesota Avenue. I have a feeling there is a push from the Uptown developers to get that stuff out of that area though.

With low unemployment comes more homeless

Sioux Falls/Minnehaha county saw an almost 30% increase in homeless in one year;

In South Dakota, more than 1,100 people don’t have a place to call home, and over half of them live in Sioux Falls. Monday, the results of the one day homeless count in Sioux Falls were released.

“We had 618 homeless, and 218 of them were children,” Maria Krell, Executive Director of Good Shepard Center said.

In 2012, the homeless in Sioux Falls totaled 435 people.

Krell said, “It’s really a lack of affordable housing.”

Stacey Tieszen, who serves on the Sioux Falls Homeless Advisory Board, agrees. She said Sioux Falls did a study in 2010 that showed the city was 1,000 affordable housing units short, and we would need to build 250 units each year from there on to keep up with the growth of the city and the wages being paid.

“We’re not building that, we aren’t even remotely keeping pace with that, so we are behind the eight ball already,” Tieszen.

Tieszen said in order to afford a two bedroom apartment that costs around $800 a month, a person would have to make $14.61 an hour.

In Minnehaha County, for 44 percent of people surveyed in this count, this was their first time being homeless.

We have a combination of low unemployment, and the jobs that do exist are low paying, forcing many to have multiple jobs. Pile on the constant property tax increases, rate increases for utilities and the lack of affordable housing and what happens? People are forced to hit the streets. What’s even more scary is the amount of people who are ‘borderline’ homeless, and teetering on the edge.

There are things ‘Businesses’ can do;

– Pay workers more, but hire quality employees and train them well so you don’t have to have as many. It will balance out in the end.

There are things ‘Government’ can do;

– ONLY award TIF’s to affordable housing projects.

– REVOKE all other TIF’s that have nothing to do with affordable housing, and start charging them the proper property taxes.

– Reduce property taxes for individual property owners, especially those on fixed incomes.

– REVOKE the food tax, for everyone! Or on at least raw & fresh foods.

– Implement a corporate income tax

These constant tax breaks to those who can afford to pay the most in taxes has to end. We need to take the burden off those who can least afford it. Sadly, as Janoct Adja pointed out when running for mayor the first time, ‘even the homeless in our community have to pay taxes.’

This culture of working the poor to death without providing them affordable housing has to end. But the culture of handouts to the special interests at city hall has to end also to make this work. Once city hall has done everything it possibly can to make it more appealing for contractors to build enough affordable housing in our community, then, and only then, can we start talking about hotels on public golf courses, pickleball courts, and private indoor tennis courts for the mayor and his buddies.


Is there really a difference between peddlers and panhandlers?

Just another panhandler?

Cory Madville had a great post today about freedom of speech, getting a job, and panhandlers in Sioux Falls. They have turned it up a notch over the past few years, and one of their favorite spots is the off ramp of I-29 and Louise, which I have to go thru on occasion.

They have various signs they hold (always on cardboard, not white erase), I’m sure you have seen them. “God Bless” “I’m a Veteran” “I don’t know what a shower is or a job application”. One guy today had a cig hanging out of his mouth while taking money from a car. His sign should have said, “Almost out of cigs, out of beer, and out of luck, please give a f’ck!”

I don’t have a problem with giving to those in need, but seriously, if you have the energy to stand on a corner and ask for money, you have the energy to get a job, any job. Panhandlers in other parts of the world will clean your windshield for a buck.

Of course the good Christians of our society argue that a panhandler could be the 2nd coming of Christ, so we should give . . .


Yeah, and that lotto ticket I accidentally threw away 5 years ago was the $100 million dollar winner.

But, I ask a bigger question. What’s the difference between panhandlers and Girl Scouts standing on a street corner and peddling cookies? Seriously? I drove past the intersection of 12th and Kiwanis last year to see Girl Scouts lunging at cars. True, the Girl Scouts are actually selling something, but what if you don’t want cookies? I see no real difference between a panhandler holding a sign and a Girl Scout holding a sign on a street corner, they both have the right to be there, whether you like it or not, but someone should tell mayor Huether. He may know what what state he lives in, but he seems to struggle with the country;

“This is just not the way we do things in Sioux Falls or in South Dakota, it’s not reflective of our people and our values. We can’t allow this to happen on the street corners of our town.”

Maybe we should ban panhandlers from texting while panhandling to?

But Isn’t a FREE society great!? Where we can sell cookies and ask for cigarette money on a street corner. Gawd I love America. Land of the FREE, broke, and constantly annoyed.

A letter writer points out the ‘priorities’ of our city leaders

I think this letter speaks for itself;

I am pleased the residents of Minnehaha County will be offered the opportunity to vote on the proposed events center.

I met with Mayor Mike Huether along with a group of other people at the Whisk & Chop Cafe, on what happened to be his birthday, and brought up the subject of the mayor setting aside some money to help finance a home for the chronically homeless as he knows the county owns the land for the home, but the city needs to allot some money to help to support the facility.

The mayor’s reply to me was there were homeless children, too. I realize that. However, Matthew 25:40 says: “and the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, insomuch as you did to it one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ “

All Snark Aside…


The situation in Haiti is only going to get worse as time goes on. Respiratory illness and infection will kill more people in the coming weeks than the earthquake did.

Take a second away from drinking your morning starbucks & bottled water while reading this stupid blog on your fancy computer which runs on the electricity you take for granted, whip your phone out and text ‘HAITI’ to 90999. This will tack a much needed $10 onto your next wireless bill as a donation to the Red Cross.  You might have to share a meal next time you eat out at the Texas Roadhouse instead of getting your own texas toothpicks. But it will taste better, trust me.

That is all. Thank you.

Is Dave Munson living in Candyland? I’m not the only one who seems to think so.


I think Hugh Grogan says it best when it comes to the spending priorities of Mayor Munson;

Hugh Grogan, county welfare director, said he had attended the city budget session, which had no room for the homeless project but did find $1.7 million to improve golf course clubhouses.

“I felt I was in candyland,” he said.

Yeah, but Hugh, what is more important? Golfers having a nice new place to enjoy a brew after an exhausting 18 holes or a homeless person having shelter? Like I said yesterday, it is about time public officials are calling out Munson for what he really is; a phony. It’s just too bad it took until the end of his administration for people to figure it out, kind of reminds you of another politician, doesn’t it?

He (Munson) took exception to criticism of golf course upgrades.

“Now wait a minute,” he said in a phone interview. “We’ve got a responsibility. We have to take care of pools … and parks and fire stations. You start to look at all the needs. We’ve got a great park system.”

Yeah, it’s so nice that many of our homeless enjoy going for a stroll while enjoying an ice cold Tilt.

More inaction from the Munson administration

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Munson didn’t include the homeless shelter in the 2010 budget;

“This is a huge decision to go it alone,” County Commissioner Carol Twedt said. “We were always under the hope we would have a partner in the city. But we don’t, so we are going to be brave and do the right thing.”

I would support the city’s inaction if 1) The city and county weren’t saving $400,000 a year in emergency services by having this program 2) the city wasn’t spending money on silly ‘Quality of Life’ projects that we don’t need. It seems Munson ducked controversy once again just by doing NOTHING. Pathetic.



I think the earth just turned on it’s axis, I agree with the Gargoyle Leader’s ED Board


Sorry drunk homeless man, my shelter is more important

Holy Shit! Did they take smart pills for once? The Editorial Board uses common sense when writing an editorial:

The point of the pilot project is to manage those costs in a way that saves the county money. Truth is, it likely has saved the city some money as well through, if nothing else, reduced law enforcement costs. For that reason alone, the city should ante up to help defray the county’s costs for Safe Home even though dealing with the homeless is a county function in South Dakota. But more than that, Minnehaha County and the city of Sioux Falls already work together on many different levels, both recognizing their responsibilities in the greater metro area. It would be a shame if the city doesn’t pick up its share of the burden for Safe Home.

It would be a shame. The irony of all this is that the city is the one saving thousands by having this shelter. I have aways looked at this issue in terms of money. If it saves us money to invest a little now – DO IT! It seems city leaders only want to spend money on stuff that doesn’t save us money, like monkey crappers. How pathetic is it that we can’t build a shelter for mentally ill homeless people but we can build barns for pink birds. Talk about F’d up priorities.

City leader’s priorities, once again, screwy


You would think after the mayor had to kick a transient out of Minerva’s last week that city leaders would understand that by spending money on public safety up front you save taxpayer’s money in the long run? Nope.

Councilor Pat Costello asked why the city should be involved if that funding will take care of most of the project.

In 2008, the Project Safe Home pilot program offered permanent housing to 20 individuals. The county operates Dakota House on North Minnesota Avenue, which is being used for the project.

The project cut annual homeless services costs in half – from $32,000 per person to provide health care, detoxification, other county services and to jail homeless people who ran afoul of the law, to $16,260 per person for pilot program participants.

See, when our Councilors talk about living in a ‘Blessed Community’ they are talking about the one they envision, and it doesn’t include helping the homeless, because as far as they are concerned, they do not exist.

Councilor Greg Jamison said his constituents tell him they support helping homeless families instead and told Brown he would need to be convinced the center could help those families.

Huh? Because only homeless people who reproduce are important? They are ALL important. Greg is starting to sound like his old man on this issue. Like I said, this is about more then helping people, it is about public safety. Or maybe Mayor Munson enjoys getting punched by homeless people? Funny how they won’t blink an eye for $170,000 crappers at McKennan Park or Million dollar windows at the Pavilion, but when it is time to spend money on public safety, it turns into some huge f’ing pissing match.  Guess what, it is okay to spend tax payer money on public safety. Especially when it proves to save us money in the long run and keep us more safe.

They really are dumber then I thought.