Frustrated neighbors in South Bend speaking out about encampments due to lack of affordable housing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Neighbors on the West side of South Bend are speaking out about an encampment near Pagin Street and Linden Avenue that has reportedly been there for over a month.

Fed up neighbors want the space cleared out, and the people living there to find affordable housing.

"I'm a senior citizen and some of my neighbors are also senior citizens and it's scary to have somebody just come and build a camp," said Vicki Blunt, a life-long West side resident.  "I've lived here for almost seventy-one years of my life and I've never seen nothing like that."

The South Bend Center for the Homeless believes that creating more housing could help solve issues like the encampment on the West side.

"In the short term, the community definitely is in need of landlords working with our folks and giving them a second chance," said Lani Vivirito, the Chief Resource and Veteran Services Officer of the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

City officials agree that more and more encampments are popping up across the city and that it's part of a larger problem.

"We lack affordable housing here in South Bend," said Second District Councilman Henry Davis Jr.  "I think there needs to be a high level of concentration on affordable housing and funding for affordable housing."

For more information about housing resources, click here or call the South Bend Center for the Homeless at (574) 282-8700.

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