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South Bend Common Council presents weather amnesty resolution, emergency shelter delay continues

NOW: South Bend Common Council presents weather amnesty resolution, emergency shelter delay continues

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The South Bend Common Council presented a resolution on Monday asking for local and state governments to expedite weather amnesty.

District 6 Councilmember Oliver Davis Jr. drafted the resolution that he said is a call to action for the following:

1.Local governments open up warming sites until the Weather Amnesty Site is opened up for use,

2. Local governments send letters to state officials to expedite the opening of the site,

3. Local governments come together in 2019 to plan solutions for homeless populations.

The city’s weather amnesty program began on November 1. However, the emergency shelter remains vacant because the state has not approved an occupancy and fire permit for the former Cutting Tools building on Tutt Street.

“It was not told to us about the permits situation,” said Davis Jr. “Therefore, that caught us by surprise.”

James Mueller, executive director of Community Investment for the City of South Bend, said it’s not unusual that the emergency shelter is not open by the November 1 deadline.

“Right now, they’re waiting for a permit from the state to do their work and get going,” said Mueller.

District 4 Councilmember Jo Broden said it’s problematic that the city has missed the weather amnesty deadline again. Davis Jr. said he understands the anger from the community, and he wanted to put out this call to action.

 “That’s why I’m calling for that call to action so we can be proactive in 2019,” Davis Jr. said. “And not be caught in this situation next year.”

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