More discussion on Mishawaka’s Troop Town project

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 11:25 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Veterans with the Mishawaka Troop Town project want to build tiny homes for homeless vets on East Jefferson Boulevard.

They received approval to build on the southwest side of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 360 but it was too expensive.

They then asked for approval for property on the northside of the building, but they received pushback from residents.

The city then asked project organizers to move back to the original location.

For the past several weeks, neighbors have been calling out veterans for their lack of transparency

“The people who stand behind me, these are the neighbors who haven’t heard about this up until recently and if I didn’t go door to door, they still wouldn’t have known,” said one neighbor.

On Tuesday, Mishawaka’s land use planning committee met with residents and the co-founders of the project to answer questions and address concerns.

“I understand the concern, you know, this is a new thing, and we are going to have eight new people living in the community and there’s concern about who are these people, are they going to cause us trouble,” said a Veteran.

Project organizers said:

They will build four duplexes and a common area on the property.

There will be extensive background checks.

Guests will not be allowed.

A caretaker will be on the property 24.7

Firearms or alcohol will not be allowed.

“The very worse place to put a housing facility for someone with a drinking problem is next to a bar. I don’t care how many times you’re going to check their room for alcohol,” said resident John Dempsey.

“Thank you for shedding some clarity and light on the situation because I felt left in the dark with my questions,” said a resident.

“The last message we want to send to them is ‘hey go and protect us, but don’t live next to me,’” said Pastor Mario Sims.

These tiny houses would serve as transitional housing; but in addition to housing, vets would also receive services to help with things like mental health and employment.

They could stay for up to 30 months.

The project would cost $500,000.

The Mishawaka Common Council will discuss the project again at a public hearing on March 7.

Stay with 16 News Now as we continue following this developing story.

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