Union Gospel Mission kitchen problems

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — What’s happening at the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Sioux Falls has a lot of people concerned.

The homeless shelter hasn’t been feeding its guests for over a week now, there’s even a sign on the door letting them know that.

Several agencies and restaurants have stepped up to cook meals, but some nights homeless people have gone unfed.

KELOLAND News stopped down at the Mission and talked with some of its residents and even the CEO to get some answers.

Being homeless is tough enough, but when you can’t get a hot meal, that’s even tougher to swallow.

“A lot of people depend on it,” Gina Monroy said.

Gina Monroy has been coming to the Union Gospel Mission for the past three years to eat with her kids.

But now there’s a sign on the front door that says it’ll no longer be serving meals Monday thru Friday until further notice.

“It just turns us away, because then we have to go somewhere else with my kids,” Monroy said.

“These people are good, they are not all shameless people you know that you gotta look down at,” Catherine Riffle said.

Catherine Riffle own’s Caties Open Door, an agency that helps the homeless in a variety of ways. Now she’s trying to get hot meals served here at the Mission.

“So we have been able to contact a couple of restaurants, and they’ve been donating their food and time,” Riffle said.

JJ Johnson works with Catie’s Open Door and was saddened to tears when she saw this sign.

“For Catie’s Open Door and what we believe is people deserve the basic human rights; which is nutrition, they deserve exercise, they deserve great mental health, things like that,” Johnson said.

I sat down with the new CEO of the Mission to ask him about what’s happening there and why the homeless aren’t being fed.

“Our cook walked out on us and it’s just taken us a while to find a new cook,” CEO Ron Gonzales said.

I also asked him about reports of spoiled food in the kitchen.

Don: Was it pretty disgusting?

“It was pretty disgusting,” Gonzales said. “Our walk in freezer and cooler, both went down. And so we did lose a lot of our refrigerated food,”

We went back to the Mission, and they showed us the walk in cooler is working again.

Gonzales says they’ve also hired a new cook, who is cleaning up the kitchen now. He says food preparation will start tomorrow and hopefully will continue from here on out.

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