SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A homelessness task force featuring members of the Sioux Falls City Council took input from the public Monday night. While gathering video for this report, KELOLAND News went to the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, a nearby homeless shelter. Shortly after parking outside the facility, we met Brandon Metcalf, who is homeless.
“I have some health issues, so,” Metcalf said. “It’s a struggle out here for me, gets hard at times, but I don’t like to bother anybody.”
He says he was kicked out of the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House. Asked where he’ll sleep Monday night, he says he’ll be on the move.
“I’ll probably just walk around most of the night,” Metcalf said.
Bob Jarding told the task force that he sits on the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House’s board in addition to serving as a partner at a company that owns nearby property.
“If we close the doors tonight, we’d have 150 people on the street and up to 180, it’s every night, they’re coming in for a safe place to sleep,” Jarding said. “There’s some bad apples that have really, really hurt our value of our property.”
He brings up a patrol.
“What I’d like to see is a foot patrol if we could and treat it like the streets of New York if we have to and just patrol the living daylights out of that area,” Jarding said.
Bruce Hoyer owns a business at Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue.
“Behind our building a lot of times I’m cleaning up human poop all the time, and that just kills me,” Hoyer said.
The homelessness issue is familiar to him.
“I want to make sure, I was homeless myself, that those people are treated with respect and also that they’re helped,” Hoyer said.
Downtown business owner Alex Hofkamp brought up the availability of funding.
“What I want to echo is is that if funding is some of what is needed in order for this to get better, I know there’s a lot of us that would be willing to help and support,” Hofkamp said.
Phyllis Arends, who describes herself as an advocate for mental health, also spoke Monday night.
“My question is, has anyone taken the time to like, interview in depth people who are residing at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House or the Union Gospel Mission or taking advantage over at The Banquet,” Arends said.
As for Metcalf, he says he’s persevering.
“I’m still hanging in there and being strong,” Metcalf said.
The task force’s next meeting is on August 22 at the downtown library.