Future halfway house in Sioux Falls sparks debate from residents

Future halfway house in Sioux Falls sparks debate from residents
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A pair of recently purchased apartments in the All Saints neighborhood in Sioux Falls could soon become a halfway house, causing some of the residents to speak out.

628 and 636 Dakota Ave. were purchased by Kingdom Boundaries, which is a faith-based non-profit that focuses on caring for people recently released from prison.

Lance Meyerink has lived in the All Saint neighborhood since 2014 and has revitalized multiple homes in the area over that time.

“When we moved in 9 years ago, we wouldn’t let our kids play in that alley, and it’s because of those apartments,” Meyerink said.

As Meyerink and other residents gathered inside the Siouxland Libraries Monday night to voice their concerns, executive director of kingdom boundaries, Jeff Haverhals, was there to answer their questions.

Haverhals pointed to another property they operate on summit avenue for example.

“We’ve been at that location since 2015, we’ve been there 8 years. Nobody knows about us, that’s a good thing,” Haverhals said.

According to Haverhals, Kingdom Boundaries has had more than 260 former convicts live at their properties.

“We have guys most of the time waiting, staying in prison longer because they want to come to Kingdom Boundaries,” Haverhals said.

The concern for many still lies in the choice of location.

“The neighbors directly across the alley from me have little children. The neighbors next to them have little children. The neighbors directly on the other side of this property have little children. There are kids all over this neighborhood,” Meyerink said.

“Frankly if we get to go into that facility, that facility will be way different than what it currently is,” Haverhals said.

What Haverhals believes will help make the facility better is locked doors controlling who comes in and out, an extensive camera system that will be installed, and their faith-based ideology.

“We hold our guys accountable and they want to be held accountable, and if they don’t, we talk with the parole agents and we terminate them,” Haverhals said.

“If something is really crappy, then you should be happy that somebodies going to buy and move 40 male felons in because he’s going to have security cameras and lights. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” Meyerink said.

The current state of the apartments is poor, and several renovations are needed to be made before this Kingdom Boundaries facility is operational.

Dakota News Now will continue to provide updates as the process moves along.