Rapid City mayor, activists talked about tiny homes as solution for homeless
The mayor said he presented an idea for “tiny homes” in North Rapid and urged Nick Tislen to give the area a look.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Friday night’s activist arrests and tipi camp teardown stemmed from a conversation earlier in the month about a long-term solution for homeless people in Rapid City.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender said he met with Nick Tilsen from NDN Collective on Oct. 7, where the two discussed a potential space for the homeless to live during the winter, a space that could become permanent.
The mayor said he presented an idea for “tiny homes” in North Rapid and urged Tislen to give the area a look. Allender said Tilsen seemed receptive to the idea.
“I brought up the likelihood that even if those homes were seen as favorable, there could be a long wait getting them because of building supply shortage and other factory slowdowns due to the pandemic,” said Allender. “So no, that was not seen as an immediate solution.”
Allender said he never gave support for an actual outdoor camp during the meeting.
During a media conference Saturday, the homeless activists said they want to see more action taken by Allender and the local government. That is why they set up Friday’s camp.
“They’re not actually addressing the issue. They’re OK with the status quo of people freezing to death,” said Mark Tilsen, one of the advocates. “And we will be providing shelter, and hopefully, the long-term vision is there will be tiny houses.”
The homeless activists said they want to continue meeting with the mayor but claim Allender isn’t receptive to the idea.
We reached out to the Creek patrol and NDN Collective to get their comments but haven’t heard back.
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