City Council War on the Homeless
Recent news that the Hope Center faces an uncertain future has many in the community concerned over the welfare of those that depend on the Hope Center for many services they would not otherwise receive.
The HOPE Center website states that they are “a drop-in day center which offers unduplicated, unique, and crucial services in the community for those living in poverty, people without homes, and individuals without hope. The primary services offered by the HOPE Center include a mailing center, a telephone/messaging center, and a storage facility for short and long term storage, as well as documents.”
Something as simple as obtaining an ID, may seem trivial to some people, however having one or not having one can make the difference between being able to obtain food, clothing and most importantly a job. For some in our homeless community obtaining an ID is difficult because you have to have an address, and other paperwork to prove your identity. You also need money to pay for the documents. These are services the Hope Center provides.
One of the most important services that the Hope Center provides is a safe place for our homeless relative’s to shelter from the deadly elements, extreme heat in the summer and below zero temperatures in the winter.
The Cornerstone Rescue Mission which houses some of our homeless relatives forces their clients to leave their facility at 8 a.m. Without the Hope Center our relatives will be forced to brave the elements and many of them won’t survive.
The Hope Center also provides toiletries and other hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and hand soap. They provide a place where our relatives can maintain a measure of dignity by washing their clothes and taking a shower. They also provide clothing, socks, underwear, shoes and coats, essentials many people take for granted. But when you’re living on the streets, these basic necessities are hard to come by.
Having the Hope Center in our community is really a measure of our humanity and those that volunteer at the center express how helping our vulnerable community members has enriched their lives.
On the other hand there has been a movement amongst city officials that reflects what is known as the “Prosperity Gospel” a movement that asserts that material and especially financial success is seen as a sign of divine favor. The teaching that faith—expressed through positive thoughts, positive declarations, and donations to the church—draws health, wealth, and happiness into believers’ lives.
The prosperity gospel elevates the myth that individuals with endless supplies of will-power can rise from destitution – the religious way of condescendingly telling the poor to lift themselves up by their bootstraps.
It’s from this perverted form of Christianity that our former Mayor Steve Allender gains his ideology and we hear that the new mayor also belongs to this same church.
Mayor Allender started the “War on the Poor” and the new Mayor Jason Salamun, lock, stock and barrel is following in his footsteps and appears to be escalating the “War on the Poor.”
A couple of weeks ago the Rapid City common council approved an appeal over the planned move of the Hope Center from its current downtown location to a new location at 630 East Blvd N. essentially blocking plans for the move.
The inhumanity of the common council and our new mayor is apAll