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Old 12-23-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Dodge Center, MN
2 posts, read 3,396 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey guys!! In a bit of a conundrum, and hoping for a lil help...

So my family and I moved to SE MN about 5 years ago from western SD. We came here because where we were in SD offered little in educational or employment opportunies for my husband and I or our now 12-year-old son. We left friends and family there, which was hard.

So, here's the issue: 5 years later, we still have little to no real connections here. We have little we do on the weekends, etc. While people here are "surface nice," though we are friendly and outgoing we have made no real friends. Add to this, my husband HATES the winters here, and I am not terribly fond of the humid, bug-infested summers.

We are now thinking of moving, yet again. To the Springs. We would love to be closer to family, but really the prospects in Rapid City have remained essentially the same, so the "only" draw there is our friends and family. The Springs, however, are only about 7 hours from these folks, while now we're about 11.5 hours away. Plus, the climate in the Springs is one that would please both my DH and I...

So here are the things that make me stop and pause. I have just completed a teaching degree, graduate level, that allows me to teach kids with learning disabilities (SLD), autism (ASD), and emotional issues (EBD). Anyone know how this would transfer to CO? And about how much money I could expect in the Springs? On this topic, my husband currently does work in farm drainage. Any call for that out there? Or how about welding?

We would also probably need to rent for a while, and have 2 dogs (under 50 pounds, friendly mutts) and 2 old cats. What are the odds of finding a rental somewhere I will feel safe at night?

Lastly, we would be ready to move in about a year or so, where we'd gotten our house ready and sold. Our son will be in 8th or 9th grade then...any thoughts on how this might affect someone at this age? How open is this area? Are people here just "surface friendly," too, or do you think we would be able to settle in with friends more easily? Further, what is the atmosphere out there? We are pretty liberal, and non church going...will this be a problem??

Thank you for any info you might be able to offer on any of these issues!! Hearing it from those who know will sure help with our decisions!!!
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:05 PM
 
20,346 posts, read 37,876,690 times
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1. Virtually all of the city is safe at night. If there is a least safe area it's the S.E. area of town.

2. Teachers are always needed as there are retirements every year. Jobs are competitive. You'll need to have your credentials validated here.

There are plenty of threads in here on teaching and Colorado certification; just search on those terms.

Use paddmapper.com or ppar.com for rentals, which is what we recommend people do for the first year until one learns the area and understands all that is available in the region.

I doubt farm drainage is a job field here given our low rainfall. Irrigation is required in farm areas so maybe his skills might translate a bit.

Not many bugs here, very low humidity.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:54 PM
 
651 posts, read 706,408 times
Reputation: 310
I am also from MN (west suburbs of twin cities). I hated the cold weather, even though I grew up there. The winters here do get cold but its only for a short period of time (cold front). Its nice and dry here so be ready for that. Not many bugs, but the sun can be intense in the summer, and chap stick and lotion are needed. The air is thin as well.


We would also probably need to rent for a while, and have 2 dogs (under 50 pounds, friendly mutts) and 2 old cats. What are the odds of finding a rental somewhere I will feel safe at night?

most of the city is safe except the SE can get dicey.

Our son will be in 8th or 9th grade then...any thoughts on how this might affect someone at this age?
We moved our 13 and 16 yr old out here and they are doing fine. the schools are fine for them and the transition from MN to CO was not bad. They do miss family though.

How open is this area?
Minnesota nice is a surface only thing. People in CO are pretty cool. I don't think you will just easily fall into friends, an effort still needs to be made to find those long term friends. I think it deals more with yourself then other factors.

Further, what is the atmosphere out there? We are pretty liberal, and non church going...will this be a problem??

I am aithiest and have no problems here. A lot of people are church goers, but they won't bother you. Atleast they don't bother me.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Dodge Center, MN
2 posts, read 3,396 times
Reputation: 10
Talking Thank you!!

Thank you so much for the information and input!! It's a scary thought, making a huge move like this again. Great to hear others' thoughts!!!

One thing I should have made more clear: While there is a lot of info on here about CO teaching licenses, there is very little about how to transfer a Special Education license. In fact so far all I have found indicates that CO has but ONE SpEd licence - something that I have never heard of. Usually, teachers are licensed in specific disability areas. Therefore, I figured I was missing something here and hoped for guidance.

What would you say is a living wage out there, also? Yes, I have read the stats, but wanted to hear a HUMAN'S perspective. At first, it may just be one of our salaries supporting us (maybe around $30-$35K yearly). Could we manage on that (we have little debt - no car payments, no credit card debt, etc.).

Thank you!!!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by icicles View Post
I am also from MN (west suburbs of twin cities). I hated the cold weather, even though I grew up there. The winters here do get cold but its only for a short period of time (cold front). Its nice and dry here so be ready for that. Not many bugs, but the sun can be intense in the summer, and chap stick and lotion are needed. The air is thin as well.


We would also probably need to rent for a while, and have 2 dogs (under 50 pounds, friendly mutts) and 2 old cats. What are the odds of finding a rental somewhere I will feel safe at night?

most of the city is safe except the SE can get dicey.

Our son will be in 8th or 9th grade then...any thoughts on how this might affect someone at this age?
We moved our 13 and 16 yr old out here and they are doing fine. the schools are fine for them and the transition from MN to CO was not bad. They do miss family though.

How open is this area?
Minnesota nice is a surface only thing. People in CO are pretty cool. I don't think you will just easily fall into friends, an effort still needs to be made to find those long term friends. I think it deals more with yourself then other factors.

Further, what is the atmosphere out there? We are pretty liberal, and non church going...will this be a problem??

I am aithiest and have no problems here. A lot of people are church goers, but they won't bother you. Atleast they don't bother me.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
577 posts, read 673,084 times
Reputation: 908
That wage for a family will be difficult in the Springs, not impossible perhaps but hard.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:50 PM
 
5,014 posts, read 6,710,850 times
Reputation: 4531
If you have no debts you can probably get by on that salary if you're careful. I'm a teacher but I don't know any more about the SPED thing - there might be different endorsements, I don't know. You'd want to look at the Colorado Department of Education website - they're the final authority on everything to do with teacher licensure in this state.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:33 PM
 
51 posts, read 73,278 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
1. Virtually all of the city is safe at night. If there is a least safe area it's the S.E. area of town.

that is not even true at all. I hear about club shootings every weekend, every car on my entire block got broken into on one night.
not safe at night:
Downtown ( all of tejon street )
Anywhere in the Bijou street to uintah street area ( ghetto, full of bums )
Areas near Memorial park
South side of Fort carson / Fountain area.


OP i'm not racist but you want a safer neighborhood don't live in a poor area with black people. Both houses near mine with black folks are known drug houses. I'm not saying that all black people are bad, but look at statistics, chances are crime is higher in those areas.

living near fort carson is relatively safe but expensive. Cheyenne mountain homes are safe, but very expensive. The north side of town is really nice, clean and safe little communities. South side of town is ghetto the further you go.

You could always live on the outskirts like Falcon, nothing happens out ther.

Again, I'm not racist. My neighbor is a cop and gives me all the neighborhood information.

also living here is really cheap, my homes total utilities are like 150ish a month. 180 at the highest, and under 100 in the summer. ( gas, electricty, water )

Last edited by OV101; 12-25-2013 at 10:51 PM..
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:40 PM
 
5,014 posts, read 6,710,850 times
Reputation: 4531
When was the last "club shooting"? It's been awhile. People's perceptions of crime can vary quite a bit from reality - so OP, feel free to check things like the Gazette.com for articles on crime to an idea of areas that pop up frequently, or the police blotter Colorado Springs Police Department Blotter .

And I'm sorry, but "don't live in a poor area with black people" and "both houses..with black folks are known drug houses" sounds pretty racist to me, despite the protestations to the contrary. I might advise that people expand their circles of true friends so they're not limited to describing entire races by very limited examples in an 'us and them' context. That is something that is very doable in Colorado Springs - it is a highly integrated community, with I suspect a higher-than-average mixed race family percentage - it is very achievable to be part of richer community here than it might be in some other cities.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:44 PM
 
51 posts, read 73,278 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
When was the last "club shooting"? It's been awhile. People's perceptions of crime can vary quite a bit from reality - so OP, feel free to check things like the Gazette.com for articles on crime to an idea of areas that pop up frequently, or the police blotter Colorado Springs Police Department Blotter .

And I'm sorry, but "don't live in a poor area with black people" and "both houses..with black folks are known drug houses" sounds pretty racist to me, despite the protestations to the contrary. I might advise that people expand their circles of true friends so they're not limited to describing entire races by very limited examples in an 'us and them' context. That is something that is very doable in Colorado Springs - it is a highly integrated community, with I suspect a higher-than-average mixed race family percentage - it is very achievable to be part of richer community here than it might be in some other cities.
I understand it sounds very prejudice, but I said look at statistics. if you want to live in a safer area, purely by a statistical standpoint, it's probably not those areas you should be looking for.

my best friend is black, and even he said he wouldn't live in a black community. ask him why.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:42 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,137,600 times
Reputation: 766
OV - I don't know where you reside, but I think your geography is a bit off. The downtown area from Bijou to Uintah St mostly encompasses the campus of Colorado College, hardly a ghetto. The area immediately around Bijou that I think you're referring to is the library, and it's true, it's a gathering place for the homeless. I volunteer at that library and while some of the characters are a bit sketchy, I have never been approached, panhandled, or otherwise bothered by any of them. The adjacent industrial area to the southwest of Bijou down near the old train station and south along Sierra Madre isn't an area I'd walk around at night, but in the daytime it's not a problem at all (there's absolutely no reason to be in that area at night anyway other than a couple of restaurants just down from Bijou near Pikes Peak Community College).

You also wrote off "all of Tejon." Wow! Tejon is the main downtown core shopping and entertainment area. While a couple of the bars may have some issues on occasion, the impression you're giving is that it's a hotbed of violent crime. I live a few blocks from the downtown core and have absolutely no hesitation walking in and around that area. Granted, my nightlife pretty much consists of movies at Kimballs, dinner at any number of restaurants in that area, and performances at the Pikes Peak Center and at the Colorado College campus, and I don't bar crawl at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, but come on...don't write off an entire area so cavalierly. Also, Tejon north of the core goes right through the Old North End neighborhood where I live. It's one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. It's a fairly affluent area and there are instances of crimes of opportunity, mostly unattended personal property and some rowdiness at college parties in the immediate campus area.

I read occasional posts here relating folks being "accosted" by the street people downtown and seemingly fearing for their lives. Gimme a break. Yes, occasionally you'll get panhandled. That's life in any city core. Just say no and they'll back off. Most won't bother you at all. Just ignore them. If you can't handle that, there are plenty of antiseptic 'burbs on the outskirts of the city where you won't have to encounter anyone who isn't just like you.

Suggest you put down your crime stat sheet and explore downtown a bit before you write it off. Go to Kimballs for movies that actually have plots and dialogue; have dinner at Springs Orleans, the Famous, Jose Muldoons, Saigon Cafe, Il Vicino, etc.; take in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (it's really excellent); explore the small art galleries and the Fine Arts Center; spend a couple of hours at Poor Richards... All these are what a city is all about and they're all in the area you wrote off. And don't worry, you don't have to fear for your life.

There, I feel better now.
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