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Downtown Benton Harbor residents fed up with squatters, illegal activity

Two years ago ABC 57 News discovered an old pumping station on Water Street in Benton Harbor that homeless people were using as an apartment.

Police said the building would be secured, but people who live and work downtown Benton Harbor said the squatters never moved out.

“So this is where the pimp and his prostitute live,” downtown Benton Harbor resident Terry Goodman said.

The building on Water and Fifth Street belongs to the city.

It's an old pumping station that has not operated in years.

Goodman says she has called the police at least a dozen times on the squatters that live in the building.

“My biggest concern is this stairwell. Any kids that are in here partying can fall down the stairs," said Goodman.

Goodman says since our story ran about two years ago, a dead bolt was put on the door—but it is not doing enough.

“This little lock here is not going to keep people out. This is not the answer, all squatters have to do is get their hands through here and unlock it," said Goodman.

Goodman says it is time to clear the building out for good, by welding the door shut.

“Just get the door sealed so we can cut the activity down because beautiful downtown Benton Harbor is right across the street.”

The Public Works Department is planning to weld the door closed but no timeline has been given.

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