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Council looking for next steps in panhandling solutions

South Bend, Ind.—

South Bend’s common council is looking toward the next steps in addressing the city’s longstanding problems with panhandlers.

“We’ve heard from the business community, we’ve heard from other city leaders, other social services now where do we go?” said South Bend Common Council Vice President Oliver Davis.

This comes just days after the city announced it would not move forward with a work program the council came up with in June.

“We see it all throughout our city and we must do something,” said Davis. “This is not the time for us to say, we’re not going to try.”

This council believes it did its part a few months ago.

After hearing residents’ cries, it endorsed a labor program for people looking for cash on the streets.

Now the ball is in the mayor’s court.

“I welcome the mayor to come sit down with the council himself,” said Davis.

The lead for the mayor’s chronic homelessness working group says some solutions are being considered.

“The administration is reviewing those recommendations and looking to see how we can make a positive difference moving forward in a more sustainable way to take care of these vulnerable populations,” said Suzanna Fritzberg, chair of the group.

Seeing as budget season is upon us, the council would like to see money put aside for the 2018 budget.

Fritzberg says the mayor intends to do that.

The city will partner with DTSB to focus on social outreach.

“We’re creating a social outreach positon, so that’s a funded position,” she said.

That position will cost about $25,000.

 

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