Business owners growing frustrated with Des Moines homeless population

People are speaking up about the homeless population in downtown Des Moines.Near Central Iowa Services and shelter, there are signs that people are sleeping outside.Near the Surety Hotel, there are also signs that people are calling the street home.”We opened in 2020. Since then have seen an increase in homeless activity,” said Tara McFarling, director of sales and marketing for Surety Hotel.McFarling was one of a handful of people who spoke out about the issue at Monday’s City Council Meeting.”We went and said we are pleading for your help,” McFarling said.She says it is time to find a solution.The YMCA Supportive Housing Campus is doing its part.”We offer a permanent place for them to live — onsite community-based services, supportive services in a community of support around them,” said executive director Katie Kamienski.The supportive housing campus has its limits.It has space for 140 people with just as many on the waiting list. City Councilman Joe Gatto says homelessness is a complex issue involving substance abuse and mental health issues.A team approach is what it will take to create real change.”This isn’t just a city of Des Moines issue. We need to collaborate with everyone to be able to provide the best services,” Gatto said.

People are speaking up about the homeless population in downtown Des Moines.

Near Central Iowa Services and shelter, there are signs that people are sleeping outside.

Near the Surety Hotel, there are also signs that people are calling the street home.

“We opened in 2020. Since then have seen an increase in homeless activity,” said Tara McFarling, director of sales and marketing for Surety Hotel.

McFarling was one of a handful of people who spoke out about the issue at Monday’s City Council Meeting.

“We went and said we are pleading for your help,” McFarling said.

She says it is time to find a solution.

The YMCA Supportive Housing Campus is doing its part.

“We offer a permanent place for them to live — onsite community-based services, supportive services in a community of support around them,” said executive director Katie Kamienski.

The supportive housing campus has its limits.

It has space for 140 people with just as many on the waiting list.

City Councilman Joe Gatto says homelessness is a complex issue involving substance abuse and mental health issues.

A team approach is what it will take to create real change.

“This isn’t just a city of Des Moines issue. We need to collaborate with everyone to be able to provide the best services,” Gatto said.

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