Motels4Now receives funding to build new shelter

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Motels4Now anticipates finalizing the location for its new, low-barrier shelter in the coming month, thanks to millions of funding for construction.

“We’re basically going to continue what we’re doing. We’ve gotten really good at it,” said program coordinator Sheila McCarthy.

McCarthy said Motels4Now, which is located at the old Knights Inn, has received a $2.5 million dollar grant from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction.

Mayor James Mueller’s office promised $4 million dollars toward the new facility in addition to $500,000 annually in operating and supportive services.

“Our unhoused community, they are people, and they have the right to food, shelter, dignity and respect, and we want to ensure that we’re creating avenues for everyone in all walks of life in our, in our city and in our neighborhoods,” stated Jordan Gathers, Mayor Mueller’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

Motels4Now receives county funding for renting the motel rooms and paying staff salaries. St. Joseph County Commissioner Derek Dieter has expressed concerns about the program, telling 16 News Now, in part: “At the end of the day...we’ve pretty much supported this on our own...” and that “it is more of a city issue than it is a county issue.”

Over the last two years in the program’s existence, McCarthy said Motels4Now has made a difference.

“We’ve now moved 117 people into permanent housing, with vouchers or with permanent supportive housing, which are project-based vouchers,” she said.

McCarthy said the hope is for the new facility to be built on county-owned land near South Bend International Airport.

Construction could start as soon as next spring and last through the end of 2023.

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