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City pushing forward with homeless intake center site

The city of South Bend is moving forward with plans for a homeless intake center, despite heavy opposition that isn’t going away.

On Thursday night the city’s public informational meeting about the proposed center drew such a large crowd for the size of the room that the meeting had to be cut short for fire safety.

On Friday the Mayor James Mueller administration announced a second public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at LaSalle Academy, a larger venue.

The commission’s next meeting is Thursday, and its agenda hasn’t yet been finalized. But by the time Tuesday night’s public informational meeting happens, the agenda will have been set.

Mueller declined WVPE’s interview request Friday. But in a written statement, the city said it “remains open to alternative sites and has had preliminary discussions with other property owners this week. Unless another site emerges and a purchase agreement is signed, the proposed site is the best and only option available.”

Once the redevelopment commission approves the purchase, the city’s common council would need to approve a rezoning of the site, a process that allows for more public comment.

South Bend Common Council Member Oliver Davis, who chairs the zoning committee, says he’ll likely support the project at that site. After all, he’s one of 10 members on the New Day Intake Center’s board of directors.

But Davis says he’ll only support it if he’s convinced organizers have worked with neighbors and addressed as many of their concerns as possible with the facility’s design.

"We have to develop input from the people ahead of time, not just when we come to a council meeting," Davis says. "I'm talking about from the planning process in the very beginning."

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).