A Soft Place to Land: Help those facing Homelessness

A Soft Place to Land: Help those facing Homelessness

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The Landing MN started this petition to City Council President Brooke Carlson and

“There is no greater power for change than a community discovering what it cares about.”

- Margaret J. Wheatley

Olmsted County and the City of Rochester continues to be confronted by a humanitarian and public health crisis - homelessness. Unfortunately, it is about to get worse -- unless we receive the support of the City Council for the on-going operation of The Landing at Silver Lake Station.

On August 31, 2021, the contract between The Landing MN and the City of Rochester, to operate the day center, will expire and all the support, services, and positive steps that have been taken towards effectively managing homelessness in our city will be severely impacted.

Since opening in November 2020, The Landing at Silver Lake Station has had over 11,000 visits and served over 550 unique individuals facing homelessness. The day center has provided over 1,300 loads of laundry, over 2,400 showers and has served tens of thousands of meals. Dozens of medical appointments with Mayo Clinic personnel, hundreds of hand, foot, and dental exams, as well as haircuts have been provided. A legal kiosk allows remote attendance of required proceedings. Locker storage is also available for the secure placement of personal items such as identification and medications.

These services provide dignity and compassion to those who regularly go without these basic services. But it is not just the individuals who benefit, our community benefits as well. The Rochester Police Department has reported a 32% reduction in police calls relating to these members of our community.

In the next month, the City Council will determine whether the use of the Silver Lake Fire Station can be extended, while The Landing MN works toward the development of a permanent location for its services. Without this extension, people experiencing homelessness in our city will lose access to these vital services.

Ultimately, this gap in services and support will lead to those experiencing homelessness being policed, trespassed, and returned to the revolving door of the system, needlessly draining police and other community resources that this community so desperately needs. Additionally, this will predictably result in pressure at alternative gathering locations, where, for their own well-being, those experiencing homelessness will spend their time until the overnight shelters open.

In a city like Rochester, with its internationally renowned medical community, we can do better.

An extension of the contract between The Landing MN and the City of Rochester will mean that the day center will be able to operate while a permanent location for The Landing MN is developed. It will mean continued collaboration with other local organizations to develop a comprehensive, long-term response to the issue of homelessness. And, most importantly, it will mean a soft place to land for people who so desperately need it.

The City Council has supported The Landing MN’s vision over the last year and a half and we only ask that they continue to do so for the next few months. We need your support in this endeavor! Please discuss this important topic with your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Make your opinion known by contacting your city and county officials and attending the City Council meeting on July 19,2021.

 

Brooke Carlson
507-328-2983
bcarlson@rochestermn.gov

Patrick Keane
507-259-2870
pkeane@rochestermn.gov

Mark Bransford
507-254-4430
mbrans ford@rochestermn.gov

Nick Campion
507-722-0078
ncampion@rochestermn.gov

Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick
507-271-1081
kkirkpatrick@rochestermn.gov

Shaun Palmer
507-254-9484
palmerward5@gmail.com

Molly Dennis
507-269-2916
mdennis@rochestermn.gov

We are more than willing to answer any additional questions you may have regarding this important and multi-faceted issue. Feel free to contact us at info@thelandingmn.org.

Respectfully,
The Landing MN Board of Directors

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!