ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — The Board of Directors for The Landing is pleading their case with the Rochester city council.
The non-profit, dedicated to building stability for those experiencing homelessness, has been operating out of the Silver Lake Fire Station for the last 11 months. But now, the use of the building may be coming to an end, as its agreement with the city to use the building expires in August.
“It’s been a blessing. It’s been the opportunity for us to develop our programming to work with our friends who are experiencing homelessness,” co-founder Dan Fifield said. “Give them a place to breathe and exist and have a home of sorts if you will.”
Since opening at the building last year, The Landing has been able to help more than 1,100 people. One of those people — is Chelsea Calvert.
“I asked to volunteer and I volunteered two, three months. I’ve known Dan and Alex a long time,” Calvert said. “They saw big progress in me. They offered me the job and I cried. But, they were happy tears. It feels really good to give back, because I was homeless at one point in time.”
Calvert said she had been homeless on and off for the last six to eight years.
“It was rough, but I got through it,” she said.
When Clavert was on the streets, The Landing helped get her back on her feet. She’s now in recovery, with a roof over her head and working at the place that helped her get to where she is now.
“Ask for the help that you really need and accept it. It was hard for me to ask for help and accept it,” she said. “But now that I did, this is where I am today.”
Monday night, Fifield, alongside fellow board members, asked the city council for more time in the building. Holly Fifield spoke to the council during open public comment. Fifield hopes it will be added to the council’s agenda at a later date to be further discussed.
If it’s not approved, Fifield says it will be a set back.
“We will continues as an organization to move forward with our plans,” he said. “It would be a huge step backward with the care and the work with those folks that are experiencing homelessness.”
Someday, The Landing hopes to open it’s own center, but, says it just needs a little bit more time.
“What this boils down to, is that this is something the community needs to rally around. The faith community needs to rally around. And embrace it. The problem is not going away. The issues of homelessness is not going away. They are going to continue to grow,” Fifield said. “And until we get to a point where we can work with these individuals and manage the issues it’s going to be a problematic thing.”
Fifield guesses they see about 65 individuals a day. He says if The Landing’s center closes, those individuals will most likely go back to the skyways downtown.