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'Good neighbor' workshop teaches neighborhood clean-up do's and don't's

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- On Thursday, homeowners in South Bend learned about the city’s Good Samaritan law. 

The event was hosted by the Neighborhood Resource Connection group and featured Code Enforcement Deputy Director Marlaina Johns and former assistant city attorney Ann Carol Nash. Scott Palmer, with NRC, said the purpose of the workshop was to help neighbors better understand the expectations and laws of good neighbors.

“We all want to have good neighbors, but we also know in order for all to have good neighbors that we all have to be good neighbors,” said Palmer.

William Merryfield, who lives in South Bend, said there are some severely damaged houses near him on the near west side. He said the Good Samaritan law the city has is necessary.

According to South Bend 311, the Good Samaritan law allows a non-owner to lock or board an entry to a building. It allows a non-owner to remove trash and complete simple yard pickup. It does not allow a person to enter a property to garden or simply enter it under any circumstance.

“It’s up to neighbors to come together and decide what they want for their neighborhood or community,” Palmer said.

Some people in the workshop said code enforcement could do a better job of handling issues that involve the law. Johns said she wants to find out what people need from her department.

“Community involvement is key,” she said. “We need the community behind us we’re a small organization and we want everyone’s help.”

Johns encourages people to sign up for neighborhood clean-ups. She said code enforcement will join a group and bring free supplies to clean with.

For more information on neighborhood clean-ups with code enforcement, click here.

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