Community members speak out on proposed homeless housing
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Edison Park and Mckinley Terrance neighbors along with South Bend city leaders and local activists met on Saturday to continue discussions on the proposed 2-acre lot being transformed into homeless housing.
“This is my community. i believe in my neighbors, i believe in our neighborhood. i believe we have a right to be heard,” South Bend resident Eileen Sullivan said.
The housing unit would be located down the street from Edison Middle School. The safety of neighbors and Edison students remains a big concern for neighbors and that’s just one of the reasons South Bend Council member Lori Hamann said that she isn’t fully on board with the plan.
“I’m willing to represent you. I’m willing to represent your concerns,” South Bend Council member at Large Lori Hamann said. “I think that this is pretty poor planning to put something like this so near to a school. I’m a grandmother, I have 11 grandchildren, I wouldn’t want this near my grandchildren.”
One involved resident said that instead of housing the chronically homeless that they should reconsider a different use for the facility.
“We’re trying to get them to reconsider putting chronically homeless people in this area and maybe look toward something like homeless senior facility, because there’s a lot of homeless seniors, individuals 65 and older in our area and they are in our local shelters downtown and bringing them some of those individuals here, would then free up space downtown,” South Bend resident Melanie Krivdic said.
One resident who’s lived in the neighborhood for over 26 years, Eileen Sullivan, who has also organized each meeting, said she has over 500 signatures on her petition against the housing plan and that it continues to grow.
Sullivan said lack of communication with city leaders in power continues to be an ongoing issue.
“That’s one of our liberties that we can be heard, you know? and that’s not the case here. our voices are not being heard. with such an impacting thing in our neighborhood, our voices should be heard,” Sullivan said.
Council member Lori Hamann suggests that anyone who wants to voice their concerns to join in the virtual council meeting on Monday.