Funding for new intake center sees pushback

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - St. Joseph County leaders say they want to help find a new site for a homeless intake center, but they don't want to pay for it.

The proposed Bendix Drive site for the New Day Homeless Intake Center has seen pushback from members of the county commission and county council.

They've even formed a new task force to look for alternatives.

But multiple county leaders are telling Nightteam, even if the city agreed on a new site there’s no interest in supporting it financially.

"Our budget is really limited to paying for our roads to paying for the garages that hold our snow equipment to maintaining the building that we have," said Amy Drake, St. Joseph County Council Member.

St. Joseph County Council Member Amy Drake says her interest in a proposed homeless intake center is how it affects citizens in the county.

“We want to come together with all sides to try to come up with some kind of better arrangement that makes our citizens okay with this homeless center," said Drake. 

But she's not interested in helping pay for the project.

Same with County Council Member Dan Schaetzle who told ABC57 in a statement “No I would not consider using county funds to build or operate the facility. that is a hard no.” 

Drake says that when St. Joseph County invested money into Motels4Now, it was a rare occasion during covid when they got millions of dollars from the Biden Administration through the American rescue plan.

"So, we really don't have it in our budget to be funding the homeless," said Drake.

County Commissioner Derek Dieter, who's leading the new homeless task force, also said he does not support county money being spent on the intake center.

His reasoning that the county has already paid $4 million over the past three years to fund Motels4Now.

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