South Bend residents and members of the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association are calling on City officials to immediately open a 24-hour homeless shelter. This is in response to what residents say is an ongoing homelessness problem in South Bend.
Members of the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association want City officials to open the former Salvation Army Building in Downtown South Bend that’s used for the weather amnesty program during Winter.
A homeless tent city popped up near Downtown South Bend in May before it was dispersed and moved to Doulos Chapel.
Stacey Odom, Vice President of the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association, says South Bend lacks the resources needed to help those living in the tents and others facing chronic homelessness.
“I can’t believe that all the people in tents in Monroe Park, that none of those people want help. I think that they just haven’t received any help," she says. "We’ve kicked this problem around for years and years and we just need to step up and do the right thing.”
South Bend Council Member Lori Hamann says she plans on asking Mayor James Mueller to declare a state of emergency for the local homeless population at a meeting Monday night. She says doing this will free up funds and make it easier to quickly transition the former salvation army building into a shelter.
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