Troop Town moves forward with different location
For the last several months, Mishawaka Troop Town has been moving forward with plans to build transitional housing for homeless veterans. But the project recently changed locations after neighbors raised concerns.
Troop Town aims to build a tiny-home community and provide a small group of veterans with financial, medical, spiritual and other support services.
Last spring, the group received rezoning approval for a property west of the Mishawaka’s VFW Post 360. But it sought a new request late last year for a vacant lot across the street that was cheaper and easier to build on.
However, that lot — located at the corner of Jefferson and Maplehurst — was closer to a residential neighborhood. Several residents raised concerns about the project’s impact on their property values and neighborhood safety.
“There was a lot of backlash from the neighbors, and a few of the representatives from the city asked us if we would consider going back to the other [site],” Troop Town founder Jim Metherd said.
The Mishawaka Common Council was set to consider final approval for the new lot’s rezoning Monday night, but Troop Town ultimately withdrew its petition.
Metherd said the group plans to move forward with the original site since it’s already been rezoned. He said the property owner accepted their offer Friday, and the land should be in their name soon.
“I think it’ll show the community that it’s no longer our dream — it’s reality,” Metherd said.
The original site needs a good bit of work before it’s construction ready — trees need to be cleared, structures removed and underground storage dug to prevent rainwater backflow.
Metherd said the city has offered COVID relief funding to help with some of those costs.
“They’re going to assist us a little bit in making up the difference between the two properties,” Metherd said.
The group is still planning to hold a groundbreaking ceremony later this year, and hopes to begin building next spring.
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