South Bend Common Council Concerned With Mayor Mueller's Idea Of City-Run Homeless Shelter

May 26, 2020

A homeless encampment near downtown South Bend was dispersed Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 after a tense confrontation with police.
Credit Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

South Bend Mayor James Mueller and the Common Council discussed possible solutions for the City’s homeless population during a meeting Tuesday night. This comes after a heated confrontation between police and protestors at a homeless camp Tuesday afternoon

Mayor Mueller and most of the council agree permanent supportive housing would be the best approach to addressing chronic homelessness in South Bend.

But Mueller says the issue is more urgent and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

He proposed the idea of creating a nighttime amnesty in the meantime, using the former Salvation Army building which is used for Weather Amnesty in the Winter.

“We’ve been talking about a lot of these things for years and if it does take the City to take on something more directly, at least in the short-term, that’s something I think we should be willing to explore.”

But several council members are concerned with the idea of a city-run shelter and how it would be funded, noting the pandemic has already put a lot of financial strain on the City.

Mueller says the money could come from additional HUD funding from the CARES act.

Mueller and the Common Council plan to discuss the issue at a later meeting.

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/