Homeless to be evicted soon, what’s next?

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 11:22 PM EDT
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For months, residents have been calling out city leaders about the homelessness issue in South Bend.

Friday, President of the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association Mike Coman said the city is facing a “humanitarian crisis.”

“The weather amnesty closed at the end of April. The folks were let go, out onto the street, with no where to go, and some people provided some tents. They found an empty vacant lot, and it’s been one eviction after another,” Coman said.

As 16 News Now previously reported, homeless individuals recently set up camp at the old BMV, but will soon be evicted.

“The mayor and the powers at be that make the administrative decisions about something like this in a national pandemic can’t respond publicly by saying ‘We are working on something. We’ve got a plan,‘' Coman said.

For a couple months, residents, some South Bend Common Council members, and other community leaders said they have felt frustrated by, in their words, “a lack of response” from South Bend Mayor James Mueller.

“And that’s been frustrating for ourselves and the neighborhood, and for Lori Hamann and the other council people who are trying to figure out what we can do,” Coman said.

In a statement, Mueller’s administration said in part: “The City has met with the homeless service providers multiple times to try and find a short-term solution, but those conversations have not led to an immediately viable solution. Additionally, the administration has convened an implementation group of community members, service providers, and other stakeholders to explore long-term solutions to chronic homelessness.” 

Las month, some South Bend Common Council members, like Troy Warner, voted to not override Mueller’s veto of a resolution that asked the mayor to come up with a plan to house the homeless.

In a statement Warner said in part: “Over the years we have seen multiple solutions with much planning fail. Rushing into solutions only results in failure.” 

“Good leadership is going to instill a sense of moral and social responsibility,” Coman said.

What is next? That is still unknown.

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