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St. Joseph County Commissioners veto Motels4Now extension

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE
The Motels4Now program provides low-barrier shelter for the chronically homeless in the Knight's Inn on South Bend's west side.

On Tuesday, the St. Joseph County Commissioners vetoed a one-year extension of the Motels4Now homeless shelter program.

Motels4Now has provided low-barrier shelter for the chronically homeless in the Knight’s Inn on South Bend’s west side since August 2020.

The program is coordinated by the nonprofit Our Lady of the Road, but the city of South Bend pays for mental health and addiction treatment services through Oaklawn, and St. Joseph County pays for staff operating costs and the rooms.

Earlier this month, the St. Joseph County Council unanimously approved a $1.63 million extension of the program, funded by the county’s share of American Rescue Plan dollars.

At the Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, Commissioners President Andy Kostielney said only that “some questions had been raised” that the Commissioners want answered before they allocate funding.

“We want to make sure everything is correct when we’re allocating funding, so that’s where we’re at with this,” Commissioner Derek Dieter added.

So far, Kostielney hasn’t returned a phone call seeking comment.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Our Lady of the Road executive director Margaret Pfeil said she was surprised by the Commissioners’ decision, and wasn’t sure what questions they wanted answered.

However, she said she’s hopeful they can set up a meeting and address any concerns.

The extension ordinance now returns to the County Council, which is scheduled to meet in committee Feb. 22. The council’s next public hearing is set for Tuesday, March 8.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.