Its been one month since Ruth Meiers closed their emergency men’s shelter. Now there’s a possibility for a new one in Mandan, but the planning and zoning commission has to approve it first.
North Dakota Teen Challenge is a rehabilitation center in Mandan. Because of the recent and immediate need for an emergency homeless shelter, they decided to step up and apply for the necessary permits to turn part of the building into a shelter. But neighbors are not happy about it.
“I just don’t feel this is good for our neighborhood,” said a Mandan resident.
The woman, who is a direct neighbor to North Dakota Teen Challenge, wanted to remain anonymous for her safety. She has been living across the street for 14 years, and the organization has never been an issue until now.
“We just don’t want to worry about being uncomfortable or uneasy or not knowing what to expect.”
She isn’t alone. I went around the neighborhood and spoke to a few other residents who didn’t feel comfortable being on camera. But they all shared the same opinion saying they are completely against teen challenge acquiring the permit for the shelter. One neighbor even wrote up a detailed letter explaining the situation and why they’re against it.
“And we’ve all actually have people that have made copies of the letter, going door to door putting them in mailboxes. And that just shows our support for each other.”
It explains the building is next door to Child’s Garden Day Care Center and two blocks from a few local schools. They ask residents to attend the planning and zoning commission meeting held Monday night to express any concerns neighbors may have.
I spent most of my day reaching out to North Dakota Teen Challenge as well as multiple other organizations working on the project for a comment. After many calls, I was not able to get a statement from anyone.
But regardless, Mandan’s Planning and Zoning commission will make their decision whether or not to grant the permit at their public meeting this evening.