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Proposed Homeless Shelter Receives Pushback

February 20, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Proposed Homeless Shelter Receives Pushback
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

By next winter, the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls is hoping to have a new homeless shelter in place and a new home for the Good Shepard Center. It would be a bigger facility with more to offer.

"There are gaps in the services that are provided to people, and that's precisely the vision for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House," Matt Althoff said.

The plan is to put the shelter in an empty warehouse close to The Banquet, keeping some services to the homeless close together, but that's one of the issues people in the neighborhood have with the plan.

"The proximity of this facility to the school. We've got, already, facilities located all throughout our neighborhood and I feel that we're being concentrated and this population is being concentrated in our neighborhood," Krista Baartam said.

Business and home owners are also concerned about perceived crime linked to some of the homeless.

"They're afraid that if they don't give them money, they're going to get attacked or harassed. So, that's our biggest concern. What guarantees are you guys giving us that's not going to increase?" Omar Donas said.

"These guys just bought a building that's just adjacent to you and this idea, your next door neighbor. Their property values are not going to go up because of this," Dick Year said.

These are just some of the problems that are sending some people out of the neighborhood for good.

"It's the safety concern for us. We vowed that we're not going to spend another winter in this neighborhood, we're leaving, because we can't take it anymore," Shelly said.

The neighborhood wants the city's homeless population to be helped, but they feel their resources have been tapped out.

The conditional use permit for the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls goes in front of the Sioux Falls City Planning Committee on March 5th, which will be the first time that this proposed plan goes in front of city officials.

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