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Biker group offers warming center to city's homeless

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A South Bend motorcycle club  used its clubhouse as a warming center on Tuesday night to help the homeless looking for a winter amnesty alternative.

The ‘3D Ryderz MC’ said an ABC 57 viewer within the club thought of the idea to use the clubhouse as a warming center. Angie Bradley, the business manager for the club, said it’s sad the homeless have limited options for getting inside and getting warm.

“It’s just too cold to be outside,” Bradley said. “I know I don’t want to be outside.”

The group, along with the Savage Guardians, paid for and provided chili and potato soup to a group of homeless people. The people would go into the clubhouse on Michigan Street, grab food, sit down and eat.

“We’re having a dinner and a warm place for people to come that are hungry and just need a warm place to be in tonight,” Bradley said.

The clubhouse was open to the city’s homeless from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bradley said if she were put in their shoes, she’d feel like the community is failing her.

Winter amnesty officially began on November 1, but the former Cutting Tools building on Tutt Street that’s being used for the program is not permit ready yet. The amnesty program will be operated by Hope Ministries.

Back in October, David Vanderveen, executive director for Hope Ministries, told ABC 57 News he expected the center to have the state occupancy and fire permit. He said he didn’t know exactly the date the building on Tutt St. would be open.

“It’ll be sometime in November but we also know the Center for the Homeless will be open if we’re not available to open November 1,” Vanderveen said.

The Center for the Homeless has had 10 to 15 men in for winter amnesty since the start of November, according to Executive Director Steve Camilleri. Camilleri said maximum of 15 occupants is limited by an occupancy permit.

The City of South Bend told ABC 57 News over the weekend, the winter amnesty site is set to open on December 1. The Center for the Homeless and the Tutt building are the only winter amnesty sites this year, according to Vanderveen.

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