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South Bend Winter Amnesty facility is now open

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The new South Bend Winter Amnesty Shelter opened on Thursday evening. 

The opening came after a nearly month-long delay and some people even camping out behind the building.

Those delays in state approval pushed the opening date back, but now that the center is open people in need in the area and they are happy to have a warm and safe place to stay.

“We are happy to be able to open our weather amnesty services here in this space and we will be able to serve men, women, and families,” said David Vanderdeen, Hope Ministries Executive Director.

Hope Ministries Executive Director David Vanderdeen said the center is open without the typical shelter restrictions, only turning people away if they have alcohol, drugs, or weapons.

“We provide shelter for anyone who needs it our only requirement is that the folks who come here can be safe for themselves as well as the other guests and staff that are here,” said Vanderdeen.

Hope Ministries opens every-night from 8 p.m. at night until 7:30 a.m. in the morning and has a 55 person capacity.

The building costs $35,000 to lease and the City of South Bend is reimbursing Hope Ministries for leasing and construction costs.

Vanderdeen said this is the best way to help those in need right now until there's a long term solution.

“We know that there are better solutions out there including a gateway center and permanent supportive housing and we hope and pray that our community leaders will come together and in the months ahead and implement those solutions,” said Vanderdeen.

The shelter will be open starting today until April 1st.

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