WVPE and Faith Mission in Elkhart invite you to the Turkey Stampede on  November 25.  It’s a race/walk that supports their services for the homeless. There's a 1-mile walk and a 5K run or walk. The race starts at 8:30am at the Elkhart Health & Aquatics Center at 200 E Jackson in Elkhart. Find out more and register for running, walking, or volunteering for the Faith Mission Turkey Stampede at TheFaithMission.org.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


After hours of debate Tuesday night, the St. Joseph County Council voted 6-3 to extend the Motels4Now homeless shelter program through March at a cost of $829,000. The funding is coming from the county’s share of federal COVID relief dollars through the American Rescue Plan.

Photo Courtesy of Montrel Wilson

Today we talk to the leader of a non-profit that started with two brothers and now has 50 members working to feed the homeless population.

We also catch up with the winner of a business pitch contest for formerly incarcerated individuals, and get an update on how Indiana schools are handling quarantine guidelines.

Produced by Micah Yason.


Eric Weddle
Managing Editor of Education Desk, WFYI

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


Created in August 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Motels4Now program provides low-barrier shelter for the chronically homeless in the Knights Inn at 3233 Lincoln Way West.

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — Two northern Indiana companies are collaborating with a New Jersey city to turn old school buses into laundry and shower facilities for homeless women. Infinity Trailers in Elkhart and Diamond Trailers & Specialty Vehicles in Middlebury are revamping two school buses purchased from Joliet, Illinois, into mobile shower and laundry vehicles. Each bus has two showers, a washer, dryer and couches and can house about eight people at a time.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — People who are homeless will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan starting Monday. Health officials say it's a critical step in curbing infections and making sure vulnerable populations have access. The news comes as infection rates are dropping and vaccine campaigns are ramping up. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the further loosening of the state's coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a 59-year-old homeless man was found in South Bend and pronounced dead on Christmas Eve. Robert Minnes' 60th birthday would have been Christmas Day. He had been reportedly missing for two weeks. He was well known to locals and found by a store clerk covered with blankets. Authorities have previously said he had medical issues and had trouble walking. 


As temperatures drop and COVID-19 continues to surge, some local homeless service providers are preparing for an influx of residents. 

Hope Ministries in South Bend began accepting weather amnesty residents earlier this month. Director of Operations John Brown said that, currently, no one with a fever is allowed into the building.

But, as the weather gets worse, he said his facility will set up a temporary isolation space and network with other service providers to care for potentially infected residents.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 74 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 3,214. The state announced more than 105,000 total confirmed cases – including three days with more than 1,000 reported cases – and more than 1.7 million Hoosiers tested.

Justin Hicks / WVPE

Some South Bend council members joined residents of the city’s Monroe Park neighborhood Friday night to tour an area nearby that has been a homeless encampment. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The coronavirus isolation center at a Motel 6 in Roseland will close Wednesday. That’s according to South Bend officials. 

The isolation center was set up in April to serve as a place primarily for the homeless to stay while waiting for COVID-19 test results or to recover from the virus.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The South Bend Common Council passed a resolution 5 to 4 Monday night calling on Mayor James Mueller to declare a state of emergency regarding homelessness in the City.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

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.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — People living near a South Bend church where the homeless have formed a tent encampment on the property are asking the city to shut it down. The Monroe Park Neighborhood Association is pushing for immediate action from the city, hoping Mayor James Mueller comes up with an alternative to the tents. According to the South Bend Tribune, Mueller said he would look into establishing an emergency shelter funded by the city, but has made no progress.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The homeless who are staying in tents near downtown South Bend were given until 10 a.m. Tuesday to disperse. But they didn’t start leaving until late this afternoon resulting in protests and police being called to the scene. 

Elkhart Central High School Being Used As Isolation Facility

May 26, 2020
Jennifer Tobey / Elkhart County Emergency Management

Elkhart Central High School is currently being used as an isolation facility for the homeless and anyone else who needs a place to quarantine during the pandemic.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The Town of Roseland is concerned with how the Motel 6 isolation facility is being managed. Roseland officials are calling on South Bend to make changes.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

St. Joseph County health officials report that a death has occurred at the Motel 6 in Roseland that is being used to isolate homeless individuals with COVID-19.

(Read the full press release from the St. Joseph Co. Health Dept. posted below.)

St. Joseph County- The City of South Bend and St. Joseph County Department of Health are confirming that a guest at the Isolation Quarantine Center (IQC), located at the Motel 6 on N. Dixie Way, was found deceased today.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 37 additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 387. The state announced more than 8,500 total confirmed cases, with more than 46,000 Hoosiers tested.

In response to outbreaks at long-term care facilities, State Health Commissioner Kris Box authorized nursing homes and retirement communities to transfer, discharge or relocate residents. In a statement, she said this will allow facilities to establish COVID-dedicated units to protect people who have not tested positive for the virus, and care for those who have. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

  The City of South Bend will use the Motel 6 on Indiana 933 in Roseland as an isolation facility for homeless people who have the coronavirus. 


Staying at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus is not an option for people facing homelessness. The City of South Bend is looking for places to house the homeless who have either tested positive for COVID 19 or are showing symptoms.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on nearly every aspect of life. Everything from the way people socialize, to job security, and the economy. There are certain challenges the virus is creating, specifically for the homeless and low-income families.

Annacaroline Caruso/ WVPE News

South Bend residents packed inside the County-City building Sunday night for a vigil for a local homeless man who died on Jan 18th.

They used the vigil to send a bigger message to the city. The crowd joined in singing 'Amazing Grace' to remember Darrell Bradberry.

He’s the second homeless man to die of the cold in South Bend in less than a month. 

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh/FIle

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An advocate for the homeless says a man who was found dead under a northern Indiana bridge was near the top of the list to receive permanent government-funded housing or a voucher to rent a private apartment or house.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The number of homeless students enrolled in Hoosier schools nearly doubled between 2008 and 2018.

According to state data, Indiana had more than 16,300 homeless students enrolled in schools last year, compared to just over 8,900 in 2008. 

Fort Wayne Community Schools has the highest student enrollment in the state overall, and the second largest population of homeless students. 


The South Bend Redevelopment Commission voted to reallocate $1 million to renovate the exterior of one of the controversial Gemini Apartment buildings Thursday night. 

The project received backlash from neighbors last month because up to six apartments have been designated to be used as permanent supportive housing for the homeless.


A vote to approve money for a permanent supportive housing project in South Bend was delayed Thursday night.

In March, the City approved $1.5 million for a homeless gateway center - but the project was dropped this Fall. Now there is talk about shifting $1 million of that money to renovate one of the Gemini Apartment buildings on Colfax Avenue.

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

The weather is getting colder here in Michiana but not everyone has a warm place to call home. A group of women are using theater to show people what it’s like being homeless in South Bend.

Residents crowded into a community center in the Near Northwest Neighborhood over the weekend to watch a theater production called “Tracy Talks.” It was a stage reading written by someone who had experienced homlessness in South Bend.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The South Bend Common Council voted against a rezoning petition that would have paved the way for a new apartment complex for chronically homeless people.

The South Bend Heritage Foundation was planning to develop the site on Washington Street. By 2021 it would have hosted a 20 unit permanent supportive housing apartment building. 

After hours of testimony and public comment the board ultimately decided not to rezone.

Groundbreaking For New Benham Avenue Apartments In Elkhart

Jul 8, 2019
La Casa, Inc.

The apartments will go up on the north-east corner of the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary campus. Eleven one-bedroom units will house people referred by Oaklawn.