Residents Voice Concerns on Plans for New Ruth Meiers Facility - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Residents Voice Concerns on Plans for New Ruth Meiers Facility

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Last spring, the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House started looking at ways to expand and meet the increasing need for housing for individuals on fixed incomes.

"Our goal is to help them and work with other agencies to expand and create a community center where everyone who is in need can have access, as opposed to those who are truly homeless," says Jaclyn Bugbee.

The Baptist Home on Boulevard Avenue in Bismarck is moving to a new location in North Bismarck, and the building is an ideal location for Ruth Meiers. However, some residents like Debra Duppong are still concerned. She went around the neighborhood getting signatures trying to stop Ruth Meiers from moving into the Baptist Home.

"We couldn't be guaranteed of our safety across the street or off the facility. The people around here do not have that kind of security, and that would be the largest concern," says Debra Duppong.

To alleviate those concerns, Ruth Meiers has held public meetings since September and the latest meetings were this week. We reached out to others in the neighborhood who declined to go on camera, but did say attending those meetings changed their minds about the move. And now, they're supportive.

"One concern was that Ruth Meiers was a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter, but in fact it's so much more," says Bugbee.

Bugbee says the new location will not be an emergency shelter, but more of a permanent residence. It's being zoned as a Public Urban Development. The Ruth Meiers emergency shelter with 120 beds will remain open at its current location on 23rd Street in Bismarck.

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