Tag Archives: apartments in Dickinson North Dakota

More Hoodlum Behavior In Downtown Dickinson, North Dakota

Almost one year ago, I moved from a house in a rural area on the north side of Dickinson, to an apartment in downtown Dickinson.  I went from an area where nothing illegal or criminal ever happened, to where criminal activity is taking place all of the time, every day.

In the almost one year that I have lived in downtown Dickinson, I have seem drug dealing and drug use in the apartments where I live, the police coming and taking people away in handcuffs who are acting insane, vehicles having things stolen out of them, my truck got stolen, drunk or high people crashing through the fence into the canal in their vehicle three times, passed out drunk or high non-residents in the apartment stairwell, non-residents hiding, sneaking, and up to no good on the property several times.  This probably doesn’t even cover everything, and this has been in less than one year.

There are some very nice, tidy, well kept yards and homes in downtown Dickinson that are owned by older retired people, blue collar trades people, business owners, and professional people.  However, there are also some single family homes that have been divided into two or three rental units, and apartment buildings.

In the past, urban planners and property developers probably included apartment buildings in downtown Dickinson in order to fill a need, and in order to balance things out.  There were some residents in Dickinson who did not earn enough money to buy a home, some of them young, some of them old, some of them just starting out, some of them retired, or families that were just getting started.

In Dickinson in the past, there was not much of a need or desire to separate lower income people from higher income people.  In the past, people generally tried to behave and get along, whether they were upper class or lower class, because there were immediate consequences for anyone behaving badly for too long.  In the past, people in Dickinson just did not persist in being disruptive to everyone, it just wasn’t allowed.

Now in downtown Dickinson, the rental houses that have been divided into several units, and the older apartment buildings, have unfortunately become a habitat for poor people who often have a combination of multiple personal problems which include unemployment, illegal drug use, drug dealing, alcoholism, mental illness, theft, burglary, robbery, assault, vandalism, and other criminal behavior.

I began this blog post by writing that in downtown Dickinson where I live, there is crime every day, all day long.  About a month ago, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and I looked out of my apartment window, there was a strange acting non-resident, who was shuffling around with tiny steps, going back and forth, back and forth repeatedly beside people’s vehicles in the parking lot.

I couldn’t tell what this person was trying to do or why they were behaving like this.  I could tell that it was an older man, and I didn’t know if he had Alzheimers disease, dementia, or if he was under the influence of drugs.  I watched him for several minutes, and then it appeared that although he was acting like he had something wrong with him, he was also looking to see what was in the front seat and the back seat of vehicles.

I telephoned the Dickinson Police, but by the time that the Police arrived, this man had wandered away.  I gave a description to the Police, but they didn’t find him.  When I had to leave for work at about 4:00 a.m., I was able to drive along following this man’s footprints in the snow, to the apartment where he lived a couple of blocks away.

When I got home that night, I asked my neighbors who live in the house next door, if they knew who this was.  They said yes, they knew who this was, yesterday he had let himself into their back yard through their fence gate, and he went and urinated in their back yard behind a tree, he was drunk yesterday.  The neighbor said that if her brother catches him, he is going to beat him.  This is just an example of what happens throughout the day here.

What caused me to write this blog post today, is what happened today, Sunday, at 11:30 a.m.  I walked out to my vehicle to go to the grocery story, and I started my vehicle.  As I was sitting in my vehicle, a gold color station wagon drove past the apartment building where I live going very slowly.  When I drove down the street, and turned the corner, this gold color station wagon had stopped, people got out, and began loading multiple garbage bags into another apartment building’s trash container.

I thought that this was a shitty, sleazy thing to do.  In this gold color station wagon, I could see that they had bags and bags of garbage in their car, and that they were going to fill up this apartment building’s garbage container, and they don’t even live there.

I drove back around the city block, because I thought that these people were going to attempt to do this same thing at the apartment building where I live.  Sure enough, there they were trying to load the garbage container at the building where I live, with the garbage bags from their vehicle.  I drove up to them and I laid on the car horn, I told them that they can’t fill up our garbage container with their garbage from their car.  I told them I was going to call the Police, to have a talk with them, and I drove away.

There are about twenty to twenty-five residents at the apartment building where I live.  Myself, and other residents, sometimes have to wait for the garbage container to get emptied before we can take out our garbage from our apartments.  Sometimes, someone who does not live here, drives up and fills up our garbage container.  The garbage container is about 200 gallons in size, it is just barely adequate for this apartment building, it is not a dumpster.

I telephoned the Dickinson Police non-emergency dispatch number, and the Police dispatcher who was new, said that it was not illegal for someone to do this.  This made me very angry, and I explained to the dispatcher that this is something that the tenants pay for, this is something that the apartment building owner pays for, yes it is illegal for people who do not live here, to fill up our garbage container with bags and bags of their garbage, so that the residents who live here can’t even use it.

The Police dispatcher agreed to have a Police Officer call me, I had the vehicle license plate number,make, and model.  This made me even angrier, besides me catching the person who was probably the one responsible for causing our garbage container to always be full so that the apartment residents can’t even use it, the Police were possibly going to say that there was nothing that they could do about this.

Herein lies a problem which I have noticed for the past year.  If you live in house, and there is someone walking around on your property, hiding behind a garage on your property, parked in a car on your property, passed out on your property, or acting strange around your vehicles on your property at 2:00 a.m., the Police would respond to a call about this with the understanding that this was trespassing or criminal mischief.  However, when this same thing happens at an apartment where there are about twenty to twenty-five residents, even if you explain to the Police that this person that you called them about does not live here, the Police somewhat act like you have less of a right to complain, and the other person who is not a resident of the premises, has somewhat of right to be there.  The Police Officers, are somewhat more in agreement with the caller’s complaint, than the Police dispatcher sometimes.

In other words, if you live in an apartment building in Dickinson, even though it is privately owned property, which you pay rent to live in, the Police and other people, kind of have the impression that it is a public parking lot, a public garbage container, a public hallway, or a public stairwell.

I believe that this is one of the sources of the criminal problems in downtown Dickinson.  Because of these private apartment building properties, being looked at by the Police and other people, as public places, you get this 24 hour, 7 days a week, people wandering through, looking for the opportunity to sell illegal drugs, buy illegal drugs, steal from cars, commit burglary, commit robbery, commit vandalism, or hang out waiting for opportunities to commit crimes.

I wish that the Police in Dickinson, and the residents in downtown Dickinson, would begin to see and re-consider, that the permissive attitude of allowing people to roam around and wander through private property and private property that has a common area, that this is allowing and creating the opportunity for crime to happen.

Advertisements

Living In A Low Rent Apartment In Dickinson, North Dakota

This winter in Dickinson was kind of unpleasant for me.  My work was not busy in Dickinson, and I was not making very much money.  I would have liked to have tried to make the best of it, to read, write blog posts, watch movies, go to the West River Community Center, and socialize with people.

The person who owned the house where I had been living for the past three years in Dickinson was having his own problems.  No job, shortage of money, poor physical health, no friends, depression, and mental problems.  With no job, he would get up late, not get dressed, and sit in the living room all day.  With not very much money, no friends, and no place to go, he would start drinking in the afternoon, which made his physical and mental health even worse.

In the past I had been a caregiver for disabled and terminally ill adults for two years.  My current living situation was much more unpleasant and far more depressing than the two years that I spent doing this for a living, because now I couldn’t go home and get away from it and have some peace and quiet.  Nor could I invite anyone over to the house.

When I got hired to work at a second job in June, I told my room mate that I had to be at work at 4:00 a.m. in the morning.  My room mate stayed out in the living all night ranting and talking to himself, like a crazy person, making it hard for me to get any sleep.  When I was getting ready for work at about 3:00 a.m., he was still ranting and talking to himself, muttering comments that were directed at me.

With the two jobs that I now had, I could demonstrate to a landlord or property manager that I had enough income to rent an apartment.  I wanted the least expensive apartment that I could get.  I did not know if I would stay in Dickinson, and I did not know how my new job was going to work out, so I did not want to get on a lease for an expensive apartment.

The property manager that I met did me a favor, and they rented to me a very nice two-bedroom apartment in an older building for not very much money.  When I had been living at the house north of Dickinson, I had had two extra trucks, and two equipment trailers, which was what had been preventing me from renting an apartment.  Things got so bad at the house, that I finally accepted that I was going to have to rent a separate location to keep my extra trucks and trailers, and move into an apartment.

I hadn’t lived in an apartment for fifteen years.  I had sworn that I would never ever live in an apartment again.  But here I was, not only was I back in an apartment, I was in a low rent apartment.  The common hallways had a very strong odor of ethnic cooking, from India Indians, Africans, Hispanics, and Asians.  The odor was not present in the apartment, thank God.

The residents who were immigrants from Africa were fairly friendly and polite.  The India Indians and the Asians I hardly ever see.  The Hispanics are somewhat noisy in the parking lot, and on the way to and from their apartments.

The American blacks have the irritating and annoying habit of playing ghetto music too loud in their vehicles when they are coming, going, and parked in the parking lot.  The white trash are aggravating in that they honk their car horns in the parking lot at any time of the day or night, and screech their tires when they come and leave.

There is a lot of drug activity.  There are about three apartments where they are dealing drugs.  You can smell marijuana smoke all day throughout the building.  There are all different kinds of poor people that are coming and going throughout the day, who are not residents of the building.  Some apartments typically have five guests every night.  Some guests are in a stoned stupor.  Some guests go crazy and start yelling.

The police have been to this building at least twice this week.  The young lady that the police took away today, I have been hearing her yelling for the past several days.  When the police came to get her, she began beating her head against the wall, and then beating her head against the police car in attempt to injure herself.  She was yelling at the police that she was going to get them fired.  Inside the back of the police car, she was kicking the partition behind the police officers’ heads as hard as she could trying to break it.

I am surprised that I have not gotten into any trouble yet here where I live.  There is a lot of trouble going around here.  People arguing in the parking lot over parking spaces.  Boyfriend-girlfriend squabbles.  Room mate arguments.  People slamming doors, playing the television too loud, video games too loud, stereos too loud.  People complaining to their neighbors about the noise.  Drug fiends on the premises throughout the night.

I kind of don’t even care.  There is just one thing that I am worried about, and I don’t want to write what it is, because then someone will do it.  I have had plenty of time to think about it, and none of the things that I described above are the property owner’s or the property manager’s fault.  This is just what poor people do and how they behave.  They can’t evict 70% of the tenants.

There are about twenty other apartment buildings just like this one in Dickinson.  In these twenty apartment buildings, I would estimate that only about 10% to 15% of the residents are from Dickinson.  I believe that these poor people mostly come from Idaho, Washington, Michigan, Minneapolis, Rapid City, and Sioux City.

There are very, very few job openings in Dickinson right now.  I believe 100% that I made a very good decision in renting the least expensive apartment that I could find.  I am making very little money right now, and I only have a small chance of getting a well paying job anywhere in North Dakota now.  Even if I began making $5,000 per month or more for quite a while, I would still probably stay in this apartment because of the uncertainty of what is going to happen in North Dakota.