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South Bend homeless now put in motels, thanks to anonymous donor

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:31 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

At last check, 32 homeless individuals who recently set up camp at the old BMV are now living in motels, after someone made an anonymous donation.

Five more people will be moved soon.

Last week 16 News Now reported that the owner of the property planned to evict these individuals because it is becoming too violent, and could be a liability for him.

The homelessness issue has been a problem for several months, but it has been ordinary people, like this private donor, residents, pastors, some South Bend Common Council members, and the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association who have stepped up to the plate.

“We had some resistance from people who were angry and don’t like change. For the most part, everyone was like, ‘let’s clean up our tent, let’s go.‘ They were grateful. So I just want to extend their gratitude to all of you who have fought for them,” said homeless advocate Araquel Bloss.

The owner of the property delayed the eviction process until COVID-19 test results came back.

“As of late this afternoon, there were only five back that were negative. The balance should come back either overnight or tomorrow,” said St. Joseph County Health Department Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox.

Leaders are now working to coordinate food deliveries, bus passes, and wraparound services.

“I do believe that as people see this is working, that more funding will come,” said Margaret Pfeil with the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association.

This donation will not last long, and leaders said they are still asking South Bend Mayor James Mueller to come up with some kind type of plan.

“I hope the mayor understands that when you don’t do what you need to do right from the onset, that this is what you have,” Bloss said.

Stay with 16 News Now on this developing story.

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