- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sioux Falls Planning Commission has approved a permit for a proposed homeless shelter that some area residents don’t want.

Opponents have five days to appeal the commission’s Wednesday decision to the City Council, and Whittier Neighborhood Association member Krista Baartman told the Argus Leader newspaper (https://argusne.ws/1jUIu9M ) that she plans to do so.

“At this point, they don’t have a plan for what to do about drugs and alcohol,” she said of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, which plans to spend more than $1 million buying and renovating an empty warehouse for the shelter. “We need to know more.”

Planning Commissioner Steve Gaspar also expressed concerns about how the diocese will handle alcohol at the proposed Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

“Hopefully, the diocese is listening to the neighbors in regard to alcohol, that they have a firm plan,” he said.



Diocese Chancellor Matt Althoff said the new shelter should reduce problems with vagrancy, panhandling and public drunkenness.

“Our desire is to have the Hospitality House be a safe haven where (the homeless) could come and do something constructive,” he said.

The diocese hopes to open the shelter by fall, offering meals, showers, laundry facilities, telephones and other services, and possibly overnight shelter. The warehouse is near several buildings with programs for the needy.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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