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Increased safety measures come after Siena Francis House stabbing



The Siena Francis house said it’s working to step up security after one person is stabbed inside the shelter Monday night. That victim is expected to survive. Center leaders said they’ve already taken steps to address safety concerns. The Siena Francis House mission is to welcome and empower those experiencing homelessness but sometimes safety can be a struggle. “One of our challenges is to provide services and create services that are welcoming to individuals and security at the same time,” said CEO Linda Twomey.On Monday, police said 64-year-old Kris Minickler stabbed 51-year-old Robert Simpson. “It was an altercation between two individuals in our dorm area that privacy is afforded. You know, we can’t have video cameras in there because of state law on that,” said Twomey.Board member Tim Dunning says it’s difficult to control what happens in those closed-off rooms. “There’s no way you can stop that. You don’t know who’s going to commit that crime. And so we just try and do the best we can,” said Dunning. Still, Siena Francis House said it’s putting in safeguards to keep the shelter secure. In the last year, Twomey says they’ve spent $700,000 on added security measures, including a fencing project, increased lighting, and camera upgrades and on-site security.Twomey said they’ve also filed a petition with the city to close the street in front of the shelter. “The closure of 17th Street will create, you know, the purpose of if you’re on our campus, you’re here for services, and it’ll allow us to really do a better job of controlling access to people who don’t need to be here,” said Twomey.Dunning said investing in safety is always worthwhile. “We have spent a lot of money on security. We’re going to spend some more because we want this place to be safe again for the staff, for the clients and for for the neighbors that we have,” said Dunning.Again, Simpson should survive. Police arrested Minickler for first-degree assault. Twomey says they also work with clients and staff after incidents like this to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe.

The Siena Francis house said it’s working to step up security after one person is stabbed inside the shelter Monday night. That victim is expected to survive.

Center leaders said they’ve already taken steps to address safety concerns.

The Siena Francis House mission is to welcome and empower those experiencing homelessness but sometimes safety can be a struggle.

“One of our challenges is to provide services and create services that are welcoming to individuals and security at the same time,” said CEO Linda Twomey.

On Monday, police said 64-year-old Kris Minickler stabbed 51-year-old Robert Simpson.

“It was an altercation between two individuals in our dorm area that privacy is afforded. You know, we can’t have video cameras in there because of state law on that,” said Twomey.

Board member Tim Dunning says it’s difficult to control what happens in those closed-off rooms.

“There’s no way you can stop that. You don’t know who’s going to commit that crime. And so we just try and do the best we can,” said Dunning.

Still, Siena Francis House said it’s putting in safeguards to keep the shelter secure.

In the last year, Twomey says they’ve spent $700,000 on added security measures, including a fencing project, increased lighting, and camera upgrades and on-site security.

Twomey said they’ve also filed a petition with the city to close the street in front of the shelter.

“The closure of 17th Street will create, you know, the purpose of if you’re on our campus, you’re here for services, and it’ll allow us to really do a better job of controlling access to people who don’t need to be here,” said Twomey.

Dunning said investing in safety is always worthwhile.

“We have spent a lot of money on security. We’re going to spend some more because we want this place to be safe again for the staff, for the clients and for for the neighbors that we have,” said Dunning.

Again, Simpson should survive.

Police arrested Minickler for first-degree assault.

Twomey says they also work with clients and staff after incidents like this to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe.



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