Homeless Set Up Tent City Near Downtown South Bend

May 18, 2020

Roughly 25 tents are set up on a vacant lot next to a gas station at 520 South Michigan Street on May 18th, 2020.
Credit Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

A homeless tent city popped up recently near downtown South Bend and City officials say they’re working toward a solution for the homeless who are living there. 

Roughly 25 tents are set up on a vacant lot next to a gas station at 520 South Michigan Street.

Wayne Hubbard is an advocate for the homeless in South Bend and started a petition asking the City to let the tents stay until there’s a more permanent solution. He says the homeless started setting up these tents because weather amnesty ended and they didn’t have anywhere to go.

“The whole point of this tent city was to try and keep them in a controlled environment to the best of our ability and destroying tent city is just going to put more people in harms way,” Hubbard says.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller said in a statement, "We cannot encourage large encampments and hope our well-intentioned advocates will work with us on these solutions and foster a peaceful transition from the current site." 

Mueller also says the county health department is working to increase testing among the homeless population to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Contact Annacaroline at acaruso@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating at:  https://wvpe.thankyou4caring.org/