Motels4Now receives funding for rest of 2023

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Motels4Now is looking more to the future after the city of South Bend has pledged over a million dollars in federal funds to help the shelter program remain open.

On Tuesday, Mayor James Mueller announced $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) money will keep the low-barrier shelter operational through 2023 and also increase security.

“We don’t want to go back to large tent encampments. This is, you know, we need to be pragmatic and use common sense solutions. And it’s better to get our folks housing than to have them, you know, pitching tents in the middle of our downtown and or other areas of our city,” remarked Mueller.

Mueller said the Motels4Now funding will also pay for the program’s purchase of a new site to house the shelter that is currently located at the former Knights Inn on Lincolnway West.

The Tuesday announcement in funding came somewhat as a surprise to Motels4Now Director Sheila McCarthy after St. Joseph County officials said they would no longer earmark money for the program.

“We can continue to raise funds and keep doing what we’re doing and end homelessness, one person at a time, returning people to housing,” said McCarthy.

Motels4Now resident Cory Jade credits the program for saving his life and helping him find a rental home.

“I have my papers. I just gotta find it! I’m already there,” said Jade. “[This program has] stuff in place. They’re not just, ‘Hey, we’re giving you this,’ run amuck. No. It’s a program. It’s structured. It’s wonderful.”

Additionally, the City of South Bend is allocating $1 million in ARP money to the Center for the Homeless as it prepares to expand and welcome those in need for the 2023 Winter Amnesty program.

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