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VNG

Shelters in Heartside

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The area in question is mere blocks away from GRPD headquarters where they have hundreds of "ambassadors" and yet the problems persist. I'm not going to shop or eat in an area where I'm constantly being stopped and asked for money; stepping over drugged out or drunk people in doorways; witnessing open drug dealing or having to deal with the stench of the sidewalks being used as an open air latrine. Since simple pot possession has been decriminalized in GR and they're not so busy busting people for smoking a joint, it seems to me that there should plenty of cops available to start walking a regular beat on both sides of Division from Fulton to Wealthy. Park a cruiser at Degage and put another one across the street at the park. We're already paying the police to do a job - let them step up to the plate. I can think of many, many other ways the DDA could spend $275,000.00 - maybe by using it as incentive money to get Degage, Guiding Light and God's Kitchen to move. 

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:ph34r:  . . . . an attempt at some help coming from DDA?  http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/06/downtown_development_authority_16.html#incart_river

 

A relevant quote from article, "....The subject of bringing on downtown ambassadors came after a presentation by a task force on economic development along South Division Avenue between Fulton and Wealthy streets....".

 

Are these like the volunteers that stand on street corners during ArtPrize??? This will bring businesses into the South Division area?

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Are these like the volunteers that stand on street corners during ArtPrize??? This will bring businesses into the South Division area?

 

Yeah - I'll pay good money for the first video of a "volunteer" asking some crack head to please stop urinating on the sidewalk. The idea is ridiculous - make the police do their job. As much as I disagree with Rudy Giuliani, when he was first elected mayor of New York, he directed the police to start coming down heavy on nuisance "crime" - the most notable example was the ever present squeegee guys who would bug you to wash your car windows at red lights. Anyway, he put cops back on neighborhood beats; they cracked down on the types of problems we've been talking about here and the results were a drop in the overall crime rates and people started investing and returning to areas that had long been abandoned. The police aren't the only solution to this problem and I'm not advocating they start going all Rodney King on the homeless but a much more visible and personal presence by the GRPD would certainly be a step in the right direction.

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Are these like the volunteers that stand on street corners during ArtPrize??? This will bring businesses into the South Division area?

 

Exactly my concern, hence my dubious use of " . . . . an attempt at some help coming from DDA? . . . ".  I, like yourself and potentially many others, am not confident in the leadership of the DDA to come up with common sense-based solutions . . . . especially since many of these same folk espouse the development of pocket parks in the midst of the homeless (as if these beautiful spaces will somehow provide the home training that many of the problem-producing elements of the homeless so blatantly lack).

 

As a resident of this very location, I say that if the shelters and food kitchens are to remain in this rapidly (and thankfully) upgrading area of the Heartside District, then they must step up and take active responsibility in tying the provision of food, clothes and shelter to any or all of the following access requirements including: 1] mandatory substance abuse treatment; 2] mandatory psychological treatment; 3] mandatory education placement; 4] mandatory job training/placement and 5] mandatory minimal level interpersonal communication training <i.e. - the basic etiquette for positive participation in general society that proper parents teach to and demand of their children>.  If the organizations in reference are unwilling to participate in such proactivity, then they should be handed two final options: 1] closure or 2] required construction of lush landscaped gardens on the shelter rooftops for those individuals to be required to carry on their loitering, urinating, regurgitating, bowel relieving, sleeping comatose in the open, etc. . <along with the necessary 10-15 foot tall ornate wrought iron fencing along the rooftop periphery to prevent them from falling off>.

 

As extreme as the final options are, they are COMPLETELY unnecessary if the homeless service organizations in Heartside are pressured to take full responsibility for the people that they claim to have such compassion for.  It is the epitome of incompetence and lack of authentic compassion for them to make the homeless dependent on their free services while simultaneously not holding each service recipient accountable for their receipt of service by attaching such benefits to their own rejuvenation, transformation and self-improvement/makeover process via associated homeless service programming.  As this conversation continues to spin, consider the deafening silence of the "compassionate" suburbanites that are completely comfortable with those of us that live/visit this area continuing to tolerate/endure the situation while their invitation for the homeless to become their new neighbors continues to be a source of gladless laughter.  -_-

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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?   

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There is a solution - get Dégagé, Guiding Light and God's Kitchen to move! If there were a bar where the patrons hung out outside, exhibiting the same behavior we're discussing, it would be shut down in a heartbeat. We've all pretty much agreed the concentration of these services is the crux of the problem. There are plenty of places on Division, between Franklin and Burton Heights where they could be relocated - they remain on the bus line and are within a short walking distance of other downtown services. It pains me to see the potential South Division has continually roadblocked by this problem.

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Well this is  frankly a ridiculous solution. it only underscores the basic reason for the concentrtion of these people: because they have no other place to go. Any other neighborhood resists more than this, so here they are. Yes, you could move the agencies, but would the people move? And even then, on whose diime does this all take place?

 

So yes, one can imagine a shift to Oakdale and Division where the old Salvation Army is. Who rehabs the building? Who puts up the new housing? And that assumes that the Hispanic community of Burton Heights is ok with it. Or perhaps the idea is to congregate them at Franklin and Division (Campau Square)? there's a possibility with the proposed residential charter school -- uh, perhaps not. But even so, the same issues of cost and construction come with it.

 

Thus the real question is that of modest improvements to the local social infrastructure downtown, or significantly more costs for any movement/redevelopment elsewhere. Either way, it happens on somebody's dime, whose?

 

As a practical, political matter, I would think the one person who should definitely have a say in all this is Denny Sturdevant at Dwelling Place. He understands both the development side and the social mission/social justice side. A second person at the table surely is Jonathan Bradford of ICCF. Then of course, we have our service providers and churches -- they too might have something to contribute. Imagining any solution driven only by economics or a commercial lust for a half mile of Division will be still-born, to say the very least.

 

There is a solution - get Dégagé, Guiding Light and God's Kitchen to move! If there were a bar where the patrons hung out outside, exhibiting the same behavior we're discussing, it would be shut down in a heartbeat. We've all pretty much agreed the concentration of these services is the crux of the problem. There are plenty of places on Division, between Franklin and Burton Heights where they could be relocated - they remain on the bus line and are within a short walking distance of other downtown services. It pains me to see the potential South Division has continually roadblocked by this problem.

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The people will go where the services are located - that's a given. As for the cost of relocation, once again, the churches that sponsor these organizations all have very deep pockets - I'm sure they could pick up the tab. You know, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless - what they're supposed to be doing. 

 

And I beg to differ with your "...commercial lust for a half mile of Division..." statement. That "half mile" has acted as a buffer to development elsewhere downtown - State Street and Fulton east of Division are two that come readily to mind to say nothing of what Division between Fulton and Wealthy could become.

 

Your suggestions of people who should be involved in this discussion (Dwelling Place, ICCF, etc) were most welcome though. I look forward to hearing their input.

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Well this is  frankly a ridiculous solution. it only underscores the basic reason for the concentrtion of these people: because they have no other place to go. Any other neighborhood resists more than this, so here they are. Yes, you could move the agencies, but would the people move? And even then, on whose diime does this all take place?

 

So yes, one can imagine a shift to Oakdale and Division where the old Salvation Army is. Who rehabs the building? Who puts up the new housing? And that assumes that the Hispanic community of Burton Heights is ok with it. Or perhaps the idea is to congregate them at Franklin and Division (Campau Square)? there's a possibility with the proposed residential charter school -- uh, perhaps not. But even so, the same issues of cost and construction come with it.

 

Thus the real question is that of modest improvements to the local social infrastructure downtown, or significantly more costs for any movement/redevelopment elsewhere. Either way, it happens on somebody's dime, whose?

 

As a practical, political matter, I would think the one person who should definitely have a say in all this is Denny Sturdevant at Dwelling Place. He understands both the development side and the social mission/social justice side. A second person at the table surely is Jonathan Bradford of ICCF. Then of course, we have our service providers and churches -- they too might have something to contribute. Imagining any solution driven only by economics or a commercial lust for a half mile of Division will be still-born, to say the very least.

 

 

They could take some of the $275,000 that the DDA is going to spend on "ambassadors" for this area and use some of that for relocation expenses.

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The people will go where the services are located - that's a given. As for the cost of relocation, once again, the churches that sponsor these organizations all have very deep pockets - I'm sure they could pick up the tab. You know, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless - what they're supposed to be doing. 

 

And I beg to differ with your "...commercial lust for a half mile of Division..." statement. That "half mile" has acted as a buffer to development elsewhere downtown - State Street and Fulton east of Division are two that come readily to mind to say nothing of what Division between Fulton and Wealthy could become.

 

Your suggestions of people who should be involved in this discussion (Dwelling Place, ICCF, etc) were most welcome though. I look forward to hearing their input.

 

…But still, there's no actual incentive to relocate.  There's no solution without a real incentive.  Which is what I was asking about before.  People don't pick up and move just because you wave money in their faces.  They have to actually want to move.

 

I agree money and sponsors aren't an issue.  If either of the ministries announced a fund drive to build a newer facility, they would certainly reach their goal after some coordinated effort.  But money isn't the only cost of relocation.  The act of relocation is an undertaking and cost in and of itself.  Organizations don't do it unless it serves their interests, and they have to be convinced.  For instance, are the current facilities inadequate?  Would a new location serve their interests better?  Make the case.

 

It was suggested that Dégagé could use a better facility - does anyone have any experience inside, or is close to someone who works there?  I'm getting the sense - both on this thread and elsewhere - that Dégagé's loiterers are creating a dangerous situation, and rankling everyone the most.  I wonder if focusing there would be a workable partial solution.  I love the historic building they're in, too… Would love to see it turn into something.

 

 

They could take some of the $275,000 that the DDA is going to spend on "ambassadors" for this area and use some of that for relocation expenses.

 

Hahaha, I'm looking forward to the ambassadors!  I hope they stand in columns and wave flashing wands, like the guides at Disneyland.   :whistling:

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A bunch of misconceptions are floating around.

 

First, will the population follow the missions --- build it and they will come? Elsewhere, pleny of businesses have hit the shoals building in anticipation of their market. And historically, the social service agencies have located where the population is, not the reverse. I can see no plausible reason for thinking that such an idea is true.

 

Second, there's money around. Right, but since they're spending less money now for the status quo, why go to the expense of moving? In the most basic of language, what's in it for them? (incidentally, the notion that the downtown churches are awash with cash is a polite secular fiction).

 

So if the population must move for the agencies to move, how do you bring it about? Now things get really messy. Because you are then on the hook for creating cheap housing, comparable to that already enjoyed DT in some other neighborhood. Who gets that lucky goose? the difficulty is that you have not at all solved the real problem, only moved it -- swept it under the rug. Iow, bee a real suburbanite about it. A rough calculation would mean moving 400+ subsidized units to your new location plus the agencies. I don't see anyone with any interest in this.

 

But let's finally think about what makes a city a city: it finally must not be just a place of commerce, or for the arts, or for partying (hey! Bikinis!!), it is a place where people want to live and flourish, and that necessarily includes the marginalized. So rather than spend your 10 milliion or whatever, what does it take to work with this population? Can we imagine a city where poor, the transient, the mentally can nonetheless find a shelter and find a hope? When we see them only as an aesthetic problem, we end up not asking the other questions: what could be done had we the resources? what else is there to do? Even if they move, this question must still be answered. Our own humanity asks it.

 

Now to a bit more about solutions: it would seem to be possible to separate say, homeless women/children and the mentally ill from the transient male and drug cultures. Although these groups overlap, they actually have different vectors as to the services that are needed and useful. Homeless women are there seeking temporary shelter -- this is a condition that can be better distributed across the city, and does not require a necessary centralization of services.  The mentally ill also can be dealt with through a variety of distributed programs -- housing downtown has actually been a real help in this regard. Likewise the very poor and elderly -- though the concentration of services is to their benefit, so one cannot necessarily move them. And so forth. This region is blessed with a number of innovators in social services; we think far more in terms of entrpreneurial solutions, from the Calvin College spin-offs like ICCF to the Center for Philanthropy at GVSU.

 

We must think about our city holistically and humanely.

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I think this city needs to pull a Rudy Giuliani and start kicking these people off the street. I just don't get it. Is it because the city has a minister for a mayor?

 

A bunch of misconceptions are floating around.

 

First, will the population follow the missions --- build it and they will come? Elsewhere, pleny of businesses have hit the shoals building in anticipation of their market. And historically, the social service agencies have located where the population is, not the reverse. I can see no plausible reason for thinking that such an idea is true.

 

Second, there's money around. Right, but since they're spending less money now for the status quo, why go to the expense of moving? In the most basic of language, what's in it for them? (incidentally, the notion that the downtown churches are awash with cash is a polite secular fiction).

 

So if the population must move for the agencies to move, how do you bring it about? Now things get really messy. Because you are then on the hook for creating cheap housing, comparable to that already enjoyed DT in some other neighborhood. Who gets that lucky goose? the difficulty is that you have not at all solved the real problem, only moved it -- swept it under the rug. Iow, bee a real suburbanite about it. A rough calculation would mean moving 400+ subsidized units to your new location plus the agencies. I don't see anyone with any interest in this.

 

But let's finally think about what makes a city a city: it finally must not be just a place of commerce, or for the arts, or for partying (hey! Bikinis!!), it is a place where people want to live and flourish, and that necessarily includes the marginalized. So rather than spend your 10 milliion or whatever, what does it take to work with this population? Can we imagine a city where poor, the transient, the mentally can nonetheless find a shelter and find a hope? When we see them only as an aesthetic problem, we end up not asking the other questions: what could be done had we the resources? what else is there to do? Even if they move, this question must still be answered. Our own humanity asks it.

 

Now to a bit more about solutions: it would seem to be possible to separate say, homeless women/children and the mentally ill from the transient male and drug cultures. Although these groups overlap, they actually have different vectors as to the services that are needed and useful. Homeless women are there seeking temporary shelter -- this is a condition that can be better distributed across the city, and does not require a necessary centralization of services.  The mentally ill also can be dealt with through a variety of distributed programs -- housing downtown has actually been a real help in this regard. Likewise the very poor and elderly -- though the concentration of services is to their benefit, so one cannot necessarily move them. And so forth. This region is blessed with a number of innovators in social services; we think far more in terms of entrpreneurial solutions, from the Calvin College spin-offs like ICCF to the Center for Philanthropy at GVSU.

 

We must think about our city holistically and humanely.

 

This is why we can't have nice things. Everyone's afraid. I wish this town would get a Rudy Giuliani backbone.

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A bunch of misconceptions are floating around.

 

First, will the population follow the missions --- build it and they will come? Elsewhere, pleny of businesses have hit the shoals building in anticipation of their market. And historically, the social service agencies have located where the population is, not the reverse. I can see no plausible reason for thinking that such an idea is true.

 

Second, there's money around. Right, but since they're spending less money now for the status quo, why go to the expense of moving? In the most basic of language, what's in it for them? (incidentally, the notion that the downtown churches are awash with cash is a polite secular fiction).

 

So if the population must move for the agencies to move, how do you bring it about? Now things get really messy. Because you are then on the hook for creating cheap housing, comparable to that already enjoyed DT in some other neighborhood. Who gets that lucky goose? the difficulty is that you have not at all solved the real problem, only moved it -- swept it under the rug. Iow, bee a real suburbanite about it. A rough calculation would mean moving 400+ subsidized units to your new location plus the agencies. I don't see anyone with any interest in this.

 

But let's finally think about what makes a city a city: it finally must not be just a place of commerce, or for the arts, or for partying (hey! Bikinis!!), it is a place where people want to live and flourish, and that necessarily includes the marginalized. So rather than spend your 10 milliion or whatever, what does it take to work with this population? Can we imagine a city where poor, the transient, the mentally can nonetheless find a shelter and find a hope? When we see them only as an aesthetic problem, we end up not asking the other questions: what could be done had we the resources? what else is there to do? Even if they move, this question must still be answered. Our own humanity asks it.

 

Now to a bit more about solutions: it would seem to be possible to separate say, homeless women/children and the mentally ill from the transient male and drug cultures. Although these groups overlap, they actually have different vectors as to the services that are needed and useful. Homeless women are there seeking temporary shelter -- this is a condition that can be better distributed across the city, and does not require a necessary centralization of services.  The mentally ill also can be dealt with through a variety of distributed programs -- housing downtown has actually been a real help in this regard. Likewise the very poor and elderly -- though the concentration of services is to their benefit, so one cannot necessarily move them. And so forth. This region is blessed with a number of innovators in social services; we think far more in terms of entrpreneurial solutions, from the Calvin College spin-offs like ICCF to the Center for Philanthropy at GVSU.

 

We must think about our city holistically and humanely.

I don't know why we can't expect them to move if the missions move.  by definition they are not attached to anything.  we aren't talking about moving the shelters to caledonia so walking a half mile or mile shouldn't really be a problem. it's not like they have anything else to do all day except sleep off their hangover or score some crack.  

 

I don't think that we need to move the subsidized housing units. most of the people that live there can relieve themselves in their apartments. there is no need to use the doorways or alleys.  

 

and the question about what makes a great city is a good one. I doubt that it includes homeless people asking for money. of all the great cities that I've been to, if there are homeless present (not all of them have had significant numbers), they certainly weren't what made the city attractive.  diversity is great but, not every person that you are exposed to enriches the tapestry of human nature. 

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The mayor is tyrannical also. He is just slicker than Rudy.

 

Ah ha! The plot thickens.

 

Before anyone thinks that I don't have compassion for homeless people, that's not true. I want more than anything else for people who are homeless to find decent housing, employment and treatment for whatever ails them. I sincerely do not think they are getting that on South Division.

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Ah ha! The plot thickens.

 

Before anyone thinks that I don't have compassion for homeless people, that's not true. I want more than anything else for people who are homeless to find decent housing, employment and treatment for whatever ails them. I sincerely do not think they are getting that on South Division.

Does anybody have the figures from the two Missions and Degage' Ministries on the number of people who have been helped to gain employment and housing?

Do you think it is more than a hundred a year or less?

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Does anybody have the figures from the two Missions and Degage' Ministries on the number of people who have been helped to gain employment and housing?

Do you think it is more than a hundred a year or less?

 

Is this one of those economic Jedi mind tricks? "Pay no attention to the laws being broken, we're makin jobs over here."

 

Maybe the real question should be "Does downtown need South Division? Are more jobs, commerce and economic spending really all that important for a city in a financial hole?" Maybe the answer is no. Just add bike lanes.

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This is the way I see it:
I came to Grand Rapids around 1998 with less than $5 and found Guiding Light Mission and found that Heartside was a paradise compared to the small well-off town N.W. of Chicago were I learned what it was to be homeless with ZERO support. I worked my way into the Herkimer Apartments and lived there about 14 years while working 13 years with Dwelling Place, downtown. I got here just after the Van Andel Arena was completed and have seen all the growth of Heartside and Downtown. It is continuing to grow without displacing the homeless and low-income. There has been a growth of low-income housing in Heartside with some homeless getting placed in housing. It has been totally amazing to see the growth without gentrifation. Division Ave really has improved a great deal. The Avenue For The Arts is usually packed. We have the Herkimer being renovated and added onto in order to turn the walk-in closet size apartments into one-bedroom apartments. I'm sure they will get a nice laundry facility also. The laundry facility was removed when they moved Senior Neighbors in on the other side of Goodrich Street. That created a real hardship for the low-income and Veteran residents there and Calumet Flats which is above God's Kitchen.
We only hear about bad things about Heartside Park. The reality is that it is well used, including the spash pad and grills. People grill at the park often. The Dwelling Place apartment buildings do not allow any outdoor grilling. The restrooms at the park have given the Heartside people a place to relieve themselves. I have never had a problem at the park.
Yes, I have been kind of grossed out by some of the activities in the area but they are not much worse than well-off people blowing their nose at a restaurant table.
Heartside is continuing to grow and there is no need to relocate the Missions and support services. If anything they should stay so that they can be inspired with good axamples right in the neighborhood. Heartside is "upgrading" without gentrification. I hope it continues.

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The reality is simple. Heartside is at a turning point where it will either massively change or major development with evaporate. You WILL NOT have a district that is like it is today with homeless shuffling up and down the street all day, passed out in doorways, and underneath nasty blankets in the park sleeping off hangovers or yelling at each other over who owes who cigs. The odds are the status quo isn't going to make it.

 

Even back when the VAA was built, you had folks complaining about it's negative impact on the Heartside district. Think about that for a minute. The VAA was basically all there was in terms of development south of Fulton, and people were already sour on it for no other reason other than it would "hurt" the homeless. It was if they wanted the whole area to remain a dump just because it made the homeless feel better about being in the gutter! I remember reading the articles about it as a teenager and thinking these people were certifiable. Thank goodness that their influence has been minimal. The VAA brought millions in development to the area. Not to service even more transients and house more store-front ministries, but to serve the greater population that actually had money to spend, commerce to engage in, and things to create. Their efforts have resurrected a whole section of GR while the previous mentality was all about keeping it shabby, rundown, and desolate. A wave that started at Fulton washed down to Cherry then to Wealthy, and now has crossed Wealthy and is looping around to the east, while a 2nd wave is working down Division. Soon both of those waves will meet up, and they will meet up roughly at Cherry and Division.

 

In terms of Heartside gentrification? That isn't the issue. No one was wishing the Herk would become luxury condos. People ultimately couldn't care less about living next to buildings with low-income people whom behave in a mature manner or where the buildings are kept in good condition. What people will start to demand in the next 12 months is that the "Big 3" (Guiding Light, Degege, and Mel Trotter) either clean up their operations in terms of the large population of their clients that loiter around their facilities, or face massive scrutiny for what will be seen as lowering the value of all of the new developments that are moving quickly into the district. If they don't, expect things like private security to start showing up to move people along from around these developments, MANY more calls to the GRPD, places like that pocket park on Cherry being bought and turned in a private outdoor space, or even lawsuits being filled by places or individuals on these institutions. The new class of people that are coming in will not be hipster artists but will be people that are not looking to live some "gritty" lifestyle down on skid row in order to connect with the streets. In the end I predict the homeless agencies will either clean up their operations, move to avoid a legal disaster (or after a generous offer) or will be litigated out of business. It simply isn't going to be some kum-by-yah deal that keeps the mess in place while everyone else ignores it.

 

And I honestly wouldn't compare the times I've nearly dry heaved at the grossness of some things I've seen down there to someone politely blowing their nose.

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This is the way I see it:

I came to Grand Rapids around 1998 with less than $5 and found Guiding Light Mission and found that Heartside was a paradise compared to the small well-off town N.W. of Chicago were I learned what it was to be homeless with ZERO support. I worked my way into the Herkimer Apartments and lived there about 14 years while working 13 years with Dwelling Place, downtown. I got here just after the Van Andel Arena was completed and have seen all the growth of Heartside and Downtown. It is continuing to grow without displacing the homeless and low-income. There has been a growth of low-income housing in Heartside with some homeless getting placed in housing. It has been totally amazing to see the growth without gentrifation. Division Ave really has improved a great deal. The Avenue For The Arts is usually packed. We have the Herkimer being renovated and added onto in order to turn the walk-in closet size apartments into one-bedroom apartments. I'm sure they will get a nice laundry facility also. The laundry facility was removed when they moved Senior Neighbors in on the other side of Goodrich Street. That created a real hardship for the low-income and Veteran residents there and Calumet Flats which is above God's Kitchen.

We only hear about bad things about Heartside Park. The reality is that it is well used, including the spash pad and grills. People grill at the park often. The Dwelling Place apartment buildings do not allow any outdoor grilling. The restrooms at the park have given the Heartside people a place to relieve themselves. I have never had a problem at the park.

Yes, I have been kind of grossed out by some of the activities in the area but they are not much worse than well-off people blowing their nose at a restaurant table.

Heartside is continuing to grow and there is no need to relocate the Missions and support services. If anything they should stay so that they can be inspired with good axamples right in the neighborhood. Heartside is "upgrading" without gentrification. I hope it continues.

 

 

I'm glad you admit that it's the "way you see it." Because it's not reality. I'm sure your experiences with Guiding Light helped you get on the right path. I'm sure that these places have excellent services for the homeless.

 

That's not what we're talking about. Upgrading without gentrification means that not so much as a grocery store will locate in Heartside or downtown because the incomes are too low. And with a sea of low income housing being added to the mix, I'm sure that will continue. That's the way I see it because it's the way it is. I can send you a mountain of data to back it up. I can also show you the $0 tax receipts the city receives on all the vacant properties on South Division due to illegal activity in that area.

 

"Avenue for the Arts" is usually packed? Are you talking about Calvin's gallery space?

 

Well-off people blowing their nose at a restaurant table? Is the same as defecating on someone's property? You realize one is illegal and the other is not even close too being illegal?

 

Here's the way I see it, and how the story should be written (similar to Wealthy Street's story told by activist Dottie Clune): For more than 50 years, South Division Avenue was home to prostitutes, drug dealers, vagrants, homeless shelters and devoid of commerce. But as the downtown area was once again reignited with investments in housing, office space, cultural venues and eateries, pressure mounted on South Division to turn it around again and rescue it from the depths of despair. With the removal of one particular entity that was drawing the most lawlessness (comparison to the party store at Wealthy and Fuller that was closed down), the rest of the corridor has seen a striking reverse of fortune and once again is bustling with retailers, sidewalk cafes, and market rate housing. "It was a long hard slog," said neighborhood activist Judy Cromley, "and there were people who actually wanted it to stay as it was, even the city fought us, but in the end we prevailed and once again it's a lively, safe, vibrant street again. 50 years was too long!"

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Reality Check:
Heartside is upgrading and improving while the Missions and support services remain.

Money does not bring morality or virtue.
How harmful is "not in my neighborhood" mentality?

We will know that this world is back on track when men remove their hats when going indoors.
We will know that this world has reached it's purpose when people care more for others than themselves.

And round and round we go.

The facts speak for themselves - Heartside is upgrading and improving while the Missions and support services remain.
People are grossed out and uncomfortable with homeless people and I am grossed out by well-off people blowing their nose at a table in a restaurant.
People are uncomfortable with the homeless in Heartside and I am uncomfortable with men not removing their hats indoors.
The best way to help is with improvements. And that is what is being done. The facts speak for themselves.
The Avenue For The Arts Events have been very successful on Division Ave.

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The mayor is tyrannical also. He is just slicker than Rudy.

 

Mayor George Heartwell tyrannical? He may be a lot of different things to different people but I doubt you'd find many in GR who would refer to him as a tyrant. This isn't Chicago and we're not talking about Richard Daley - the City Manager wields more actual  power than the mayor here. Please give us just one example of Rev. Heartwell acting in a "tyrannical" manner. And "...slicker than Rudy." - really!?! Have you ever met the man, John? Just like "tyrannical", "slick" would be one of the last words I would use to describe him. (A little off topic but I couldn't let that one slide.)

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