Rapid City Mayor’s mayor to combat homelessness getting mixed reactions

RAPID CITY, S.D.(KOTA)- Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender’s new initiatives regarding panhandling and homelessness have been met with mixed responses from the public.

Allender defended initiative, which consists putting signs in prominent locations around town to deter panhandling, minimizing police interactions with homeless individuals in favor of social workers and encouraging support of local homeless advocates.

Allender said interactions with people experiencing homelessness take far too much of the RCPD’s time and resources.

Allender recommended a number of local orgs connected to homelessness to consider supporting.

Allender clarified the signs do not prohibit panhandling, and instead remind the public of their right to say no.

As the cold sets in throughout the Black Hills, people have already started “dressing” the Presidential statues downtown with warm clothing for those in need to take.