SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Tackling homelessness issues in the town of South Bend has been a long process, faced with many obstacles and a lack of resources. In an attempt to break down these barriers, Mayor Mueller formed the Homelessness Implementation Group in August 2020.
“We know that homelessness is one of those multifaceted and extremely difficult problems to solve and therefore we need to make sure that we have community solutions and that all concerned can help us move a strategy forward.” , South Bend Said Mayor James Mueller.
For several months now, Mayor Mueller and his team have come together to create the best ways to bring more support to the homeless community.
“When you are left on the streets, it is difficult for you to realize your full potential,” said Mayor Mueller.
On Monday evening, the housing team presented a list of 4 recommendations to the South Bend Common Council. The first recommendation, permanent housing strategies with supportive services. The Town of South Bend, which currently only has one supportive housing project, so this recommendation is designed for people who have difficulty accessing and bringing more services into the community. region.
The second is a housing trust fund. Development funding is also minimal and limited in the city. Having permanent funds would create a stable system of housing resources for any homeless person.
The third, an advocacy campaign. This would consist of a team that would visit neighborhoods and other places like churches with educational presentations on homelessness issues. All of this to help debunk the false myths about homelessness.
Last but not least, the fourth recommendation is to have a homeless manager to work only on homelessness issues in the city.
Over the past year, the number of homeless people in the county has increased. According to Mayor Mueller, according to recent data, there are currently more than 500 homeless people in St. Joseph County.
“When the numbers seem to increase. As we try to resolve the issues that we currently have, it only makes the problem worse as it grows over time, ”said Mayor Mueller.
So getting those recommendations approved would be a major step in providing them with the help they need to live.
“Housing is a basic need. As food water and shelters are there and we must work to bring our residents to a safe and sheltered environment, not for their own good but also for the good of the community, ”said Mayor Mueller.
The recommendations have yet to be approved, but in the coming months the housing team will travel to the joint council again to hope that everything is set in stone.