Community shares concerns about homeless population in Whittier neighborhood

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Businesses and residents in the Whittier neighborhood say they’re having some problems with homeless people in the area.

It’s packed at R Wine Bar as people voice their concerns about the homeless population in the Whittier neighborhood.

“We’ve been working with businesses in the neighborhood to try to address some of the issues that the transient populations has created here,” Jeff Eckhoff with the City of Sioux Falls said.

Public intoxication, loitering and public urination are some of the issues people brought up.

Several organizations that serve homeless people came to the meeting to give their side of the story.

“Today was an opportunity to try to bring the businesses and agencies that serve those people together, and just find out more about what’s the facts the agencies are doing and what isn’t and trying to help people understand a good starting point to work from,” Eckhoff said.

One of those organizations is the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

“There was a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about the services that we provide at the Bishop Dudley House. Today, we were able to talk about the services that we provide for folks in the neighborhood and it became a very good discussion,” Madeline Shields with the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House said.

Discussions the city hopes will help the community.

“We make decisions going forward that don’t have unintended consequences, and make things actually worse, which can happen sometimes,” Eckhoff said.

The city says it will be working with the organizations and the people in Whittier neighborhood to come up with a solution.

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