South Bend residents share experiences living in struggling neighborhoods

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Some members of the South Bend Common Council are calling for more investment in struggling neighborhoods.

Thursday was the second Residential Neighborhoods Committee Meeting at Harrison Primary Center.

Residents living in under-served neighborhoods talked about quality of life issues impacting them directly, such as: economic development, affordable housing, youth engagement and employment, neighborhood infrastructure and public safety and wellness.

“Now is the time because as we continue to not effectively address these neighborhoods, they are regressing,” said South Bend Common Councilwoman, Karen White.

Residents said they would like to see more officers living in their neighborhoods.

Others wanted to see more opportunities for business development and home improvement projects.

Then others, like Cristina Hernandez, wanted to see more job training and better programming for youth, so they stay off the streets.

“It’s getting worse, actually, because of all the shootings and kids…their parents are not very involved in their lives,” Hernandez said.

She also said the sidewalks are in bad shape.

“This is important because children walk on the sidewalks, on Illinois Street, and they are like horrible,” Hernandez said.

“They have the right to live in clean, safe neighborhoods. They have a right to expect the basic services. They have the right to expect that we would treat them with dignity and respect,” White said.

All ideas and concerns were jotted down.

White said she will look at the information and put together a report for neighborhood associations.

A team will then work to come up with specific plans to improve the neighborhoods.

Those plans will be discussed at a meeting on September 16.

White said she would like neighborhood investment to be in the 2020 budget.