fakkelsey

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About fakkelsey

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    Grand Rapids, MI
  1. fakkelsey

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Those numbers do surprise me. It seems lately many mass transit companies have been reporting more growth every year. It also seems I see more bikers these years than when I was a kid. Maybe the numbers are due to high suburban growth, I guess.
  2. fakkelsey

    Meijer

    Their wages have never been something to brag about but I am sure they are not going up. Back years ago I went to Wally world (Walmart) for better pay though I cannot brag them up neither. Meijer has made a lot of changes from old school. They use to carry a lot of name brands. Now it is one, at best two name brands along side their own brand. I love their sale prices because a third of them are their normal price. In saying all of that though, Meijer does still have the competition beat over all relating to price, though some weeks Family fare do give them a bit of competition with their sales. I am sometimes surprised by Walgreens sales of late. Any how, despite my dislikes, for full priced grocery retail, I still pick Meijer, and for those wishing for a Kroger, you ain't missing nothing, and the north store of Plumbs is not exactly whipping on the competitors either. The few local chains just cannot hold the prices though a couple of the west side stores can have surprising sales. Love them or hate them, I sure would not want to be without them. At least they are helping many neighborhoods/communities outside of just store management. I still wish the land they offered for the new zoo in Kent county would of been voted in favor of, but what has been done is done, and besides, now we have the train thing going up the hill in John Ball.
  3. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    Thanks for all the continuously new photos John. It certainly helps put words into reality.
  4. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    How much this link really fits in is questionable but I found it quite interesting regardless. We think often of the Heartside being the worst area of town, but ironically, they seem to have less crime than the heart of downtown. I found it interesting how widespread crime really is. You can adjust the settings and dates as you desire. This is a very up to date map of where crimes happen and is up updated I believe day by day. http://www.crimemapping.com/map/mi/grandrapids I enjoyed just kinda browsing around town with this. I hope you all get some, ahh, enjoyment too.
  5. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    I do understand some of the issues but I still have to chuckle a little bit. When I was living in Cincinnati the entire DT region had homeless around with signs and such and being asked for money was common place from more than just the homeless. However, retail was huge. Everything you could want, though not quite Chicago, could be found. DT ambassadors was used a lot there along with horse cops and foot cops. Homeless were encouraged to help themselves by selling the local homeless newspaper for more than what they had to buy it for. I guess, in the end, it was something people just got use to. With events literally every day of the week and in several locations through DT it just seemed to really draw people there, into the late night hours. I think one big aspect was the feeling of safety due to a high police presence. Now grant it, the density of the homeless was still not as intense is the several block radius along S Division. Just as others are saying, it is the intensity that I believe keeps most people from that blockage. The question is, is there truly a solution?
  6. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    At the very least, this is one topic that has had a ton on interesting responses from all over the board and to my actual liking, more diverse than the subject alone. I think as soon is time permits me to again, I will see if I can find out what other cities have done apart from the ones I already know. VNG, do you walk around looking rich? LOL Just messing around. I am on that blockage often but I guess I do not find it as exciting is you have, though certainly nothing you stated uncommon for the zone. I usually am around a bit earlier. When I do go down there later, yes, it is a bit more active though. I got to say though, I off hand cannot think of anywhere in Michigan quite like S. Division. Even Woodward ave and Michigan ave dont quite have the same intensity for such a small blockage area. Eastern market might be the closest but with seeming more variety. GR dad, I hear what you are saying. I have several Catholic friends myself. I am non denominational and do not hold some of the views often held by many churches thus I catch a bit of flack myself, though I do not have the Catholic name tag. I have had Christian family members hurt me to some degree as well. I use to fight with every pastor that came to my door and most would never stay around to answer the tough questions. For me, Jesus showed Himself very clearly to me, and I know I was on a road to nowhere happy very quickly and had really lucked out in events just occurring. For me, Jesus changed my death sentence to a life sentence. However, I lived more than half my life a little closer to your shoes in this relation so I know enough that it only hurts when anything is being shoved down your throat. In saying that, changed lives (not perfect lives) often company acceptance of Jesus. No matter the denomination. I say this not as an insult of any kind but a sincere question. I believe if you do some homework you will find most hospitals, clinics, and missions were founded by Christians. It is not that it cannot be done or founded by others, just a change of heart for helping that often comes with faith leads to these kind of projects. It certainly by no means makes Christians better or higher valued than all others, only that most want to make a difference for other people. That is why in my belief, despite there being resentment (not without good reason at times) most organizations of religion are the ones starting these places of help. ( I should note, however, greed has swept through many organizations that started with a humble helping heart) I will be honest, though I helped many before my change, my change has brought me to a wanting to help. Any how, I just said all of that to say, though I do understand where you are coming from (maybe more than you know) I do not believe this area (religion backbone of these organizations) will be changing much any time in the future. Whether we agree with all of what some one believes in or not, it is good to know they are helping the less fortunate or in many cases, the less motivated. I do believe, however, the reason missions mandate sermons is to hopefully stir change in their hearts as well. I do question on how many will ever change without a change of heart.
  7. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    Thanks for all the fantastic info on south Division, GR dad. I would of never known, but in relation to the times, it makes sense. The last picture was a classic. The Hotel wasn't looking to shabby either. I did find the maps on the street car routes earlier as well is the proposed routes, which would of been huge. I also so the article on the street widening. Very interesting. In fact, one article stated Division was not even a thoroughfare at one point between Hall and Franklin but no one knows the reason. I cannot help but want to go back in time for just a bit to see in person what it was like. (before the burbs) Sorry to hear about you and ect. basically being rejected from helping. Makes no sense. If I were to tell you I never had any issues with some formats of organized religion myself I would be lying to you. I learned long ago to take it as a personal devotion and not count on any one organization. Fact is, I guess we all got our faults. Your story is not alone, however, and I will never understand the reasoning behind such. At any rate, however, I am very happy they are there. It is said they use to take count of the homeless but a long time ago when the count reached into the thousands (no idea what it is today or how they got their count) it became too much of a hassle to continue the count.
  8. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    I was just researching a bit but really could not find what I was looking for. What I did seem to find was that there was no homeless shelters ever outside of the Heartside. There were missions, as there still are, and some house woman and children, but in relation to homeless men, it seems it all began in the Heartside. I believe most of the big Heartside missions came about in the late 1950s and 60s. However, the first one was on Market st. I could find no articles as to how much a success S Division ever was. Only Monroe seemed a huge success. Looking for old photos seemed to be very limited results. My conclusion is what I already assumed, in that right now, Met Trotter is the only open circuit mission for men there is. Guiding light now caters only to those trying to better themselves. The amount of programs offered at many places surprised me much. Certainly hunger is not an issue. It is my understanding that in the history of shelters location was not the concern, only a place they could expand. In other words, probably, if a lot of money was offered to the two missions, they may take it. However, there are many many more places and services that are here than just the two missions. That being said, there would have to be a group effort in combining all services in one complex via scattered about. The stories of the founding fathers of these places are awesome. Mel Trotter was raised in a drunken family, got married as a drunk, caused (not directly) the death of his son by drinking but continued anyway. A mission in Chicago saved his life as he was about to drown himself. Like many other stories found within the start of and through out the history of, both for fathers and the once homeless, Jesus Christ has changed lives by higher numbers than I can count. In any event, I do not see the missions going anywhere. Personally, location is not a huge factor for me. Only that the continued help is there in at least the same capacity as it is now. GRdad, if not to personal, what "church" was you from as to why your chuch could not volunteer? I am just trying to make sense out of that one.
  9. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    I do not speak without knowledge. I live within blocks of Division. That is where I do some of my shopping. I know the area quite well. Let us go a little further with questions. If we were to decide to move the shelters, where do we move them and who pays for it? I am sure any good neighbor would love the opportunity to have a couple next to them, right? I am also quite sure most would have no problem spending tax dollar money on moving them, right? Truly as humans we like to group everyone in the same shoes. I would actually like to see that any able person work a bit (volunteer at the mission) for their services. (Like I assume the poor farms were designed.) thus helping to maintain cost and staffing. The area east of Division is not intended for retail with the exception of State. John's point is that all blocks apart from Division has seen much growth, including just one block west. I am not so blinded by the fact the homeless there does have a huge impact with retail. It needs to be remembered though that most large cities in time co exist with the homeless and middle class in their growing downtown neighborhoods. One can easily see this on the western portion of Chicago's downtown, Cincinnati OTR district, and many other larger cities else where than the Midwest. I am not saying it is always an enjoyable walk, nor is going to the hospital a vacation spot. People do need help though. If you are lucky enough not to need it thank God. Yes, there are many who travel across the US as homeless and yes, Grand Rapids is ranked fairly high. Yes, we should work on solutions. Yes, there are many troubles and many people that are content living this way. However, there is many more reasons than people know of. Try talking with some. Does that make everything acceptable? No. But we do need to understand the homeless will always be among us. If the economy tanks again, we will see many more. Tent cities were common across the US just a few years back. So, yes, there are issues, but just like every other problem, we just can't relocate a problem and expect it to go away. We need to deal with it face on.
  10. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    Maybe your right Jwazzz, but that was quite a powerful statement to me. For the record, I am not at all anti Muslim, but very anti Islam. Here is counting the murders on weekly bases. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ Keeping on topic, however, I see your point, John. In many cities this is the way things run. It does seem in smaller cities, however, it is a harder idea to accept. Ironically, this can be seen in Lansing, where the only mission around that I know of is on the revamped Michigan ave. downtown. I do understand both sides though. Finding a solution that makes everyone happy, however, could be a problem. GR, I have no hard feelings. I just have no understanding of where your statement was based from.
  11. fakkelsey

    Shelters in Heartside

    Maybe I am wrong, but I believe Guiding Light was the mission who changed their program and now only allowing persons to stay there that are enlisted in their program and are actively getting their life back on track. That is primarily why Mel Trotter now is soo very over crowded to the extent where at times they cannot even fit people in the designated sleeping rooms with just extra mattresses. From what I hear, Mel Trotter is consistently pushing the numbers over the brink since Guiding changed their format. In saying that, your post had some truth for sure but also some harsh falsehoods. True that the homeless is gathered in a very small area of town, thus I believe preventing the only remaining commercial stretch in the Heartside from being a success if your idea of success is just more night clubs and bars which is the majority of the retail in that area. However, by assuming that is the only issue makes one wonder why the likes of Eastern south of Wealthy remains a non prime shopping district like those further down Division. Even Wealthy, now considered a success, primarily consist of eateries and bars (exception East town) that cater to people outside of the district (exception Heritage Hill). Point being, homeless is only one cause of certain blocks being fairly empty. You accuse us Christians of keeping part of a city in a depressed state (a less populated with bars state) due to many wanting to help the less fortunate. Now while it is true there are many from out of town due to the generosity of the neighborhood and that many truly never plan on improving or helping themselves out and just tend to hang out and cause trouble due to too much energy and doing nothing productive, it is also true many find themselves in a depressed state concerning money, health, mental conditions, ect. Next time you walk down Division, look at and count the ones fighting versing the many that just call this blockage home and cause no trouble at all. Secondly, ask your self what you would do if suddenly you found yourself jobless, kicked out of your home, and no family to help. I just visited the old poor farm west of town on Leonard the other day, and saw where they buried the dead there and read a couple stories. One was a man who most of his life helped build Holland and had 11 children. Then Holland caught fire and his wife died, he got depressed and could no longer take care of himself, went to the poor farm and died three years later. I met a man last fall who took a job here from Flint, where his family was, but his job fell through and he was stuck. He musta made it back because I have not saw him around since then. Point being, the homeless have more then one class of people. Some just decide to make that a way of life. (We had to kick many out of our home because of this decision) Others decide this due to mental illness, which by the way, consist of many vets who fought to keep this country free. Some just fall on hard times and once they get their selves back up, they start a successful part of living. Some of this is to do with what we see a block away, that is, many cannot seem to put the alcohol away and because of it lose everything God has given them. To blame Christians for helping those who need help for a many of reasons thus keeping down a blockage of Division, you might as well blame the success of a good part of the Heartside to the later demise of many who lose everything over drinking. I am glad your way of thinking is not the way many others think. If you are going to blame Christians for such, make sure you also blame them for a safer city, as there are many that would turn to robbery on the street corners if they could not get what they needed other wise. Make sure you also blame Christians for the savings of many lives and souls for eternity. Some decisions are hard to make. Can you help some and not help others? Guiding Light is trying that approach, thus making Mel Trotter over loaded. In Knowing these organizations are non profit, who is going to foot the bill to relocate them? Even more so, if they were scattered all over town, would that be of help when that would cause it very hard for the needy to get to the soup kitchens. Trust me, I know some of the issues. I, like many, would love a better solution. But can there be one? How hard is it for people to change minds, attitudes, and learn t behaviors and ways of thinking? Just ask certain ones who are trained and taught to behead all those who deny Allah. What do we do in the meantime? What will it take for some to change their way of thinking? It is a huge issue and I believe there sometimes is no straight up right or wrong answers, like most things in life, but do we as humans, just decide to turn our backs upon our fellow brothers? It is a harder thing to selectively help when we do not know the history or by what means may bring someone around. I do have trouble supporting many who choose not to do anything to improve their own situation, but how do you implement this on a scale of overcrowded homeless neighborhoods, and what then happens as a result of all the ones who are turned away from help? Do they just accept that and then leave and get a job, or most likely, return in hatred to destroy the help of the truly needed. Point being, don't be so ignorant concerning those who actually want to help and to make a difference and thank the good God you already got what you need and so much more. Thank God there are those who do want to help.
  12. fakkelsey

    THE Downtown Market updates

    Thanks John for letting me know. I hope they stay with those plans. It certainly gives me a true hope for the future of the market and area.
  13. fakkelsey

    THE Downtown Market updates

    Very cool thread of the vintage markets indeed. Also very cool pictures. Does anyone know when the inside market will open and if the hours will be better. Being open only three days a week with a day closed in between each day I found to be quite disappointing. I was really hoping for more consistency with the hours to not only make the structure a grand market but to establish it comparable to other major markets as to draw a consistent crowd and tourist. Will, it is a good start anyway.
  14. fakkelsey

    THE Downtown Market updates

    or feel a new gold mine has just been built. However, most likely there will be a strong dose of police to try helping those of such to find another block. In time though, yes, I believe it will be more common place to see, as like any attraction close to a homeless sector, in any given city.
  15. There is a HUGE difference between 40% and 100%. I cannot help but see your above post being true based on this. Thank you very much for the link. Yes, it would be interesting to see a chart with full market. Most cities seem to lean on full market for tax credits. Interesting link.