SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A major homeless shelter initiative has turned into a massive drain on emergency resources in South Bend as taxpayers dole out millions of dollars to keep it operational. A public records request by REAL News Michiana discovered police were called to the Motels 4 Now program more than 1,000 times since opening in 2020. Police responded 250 times from December of 2021 through December of 2022. The calls include everything from stabbings to overdoses, sexual assaults and thefts.
While a large number of the calls (42) from the past year were for reporting “Unwanted Persons,” it is apparent crime is a major problem with the program located at the old Knights Inn on Lincolnway West in South Bend. Below is a breakdown of some of the highlights.
Assault: 17 Calls
Theft: 15 Calls
Disturbance: 15 Calls
Overdose: 14 Calls
Threat: 10 Calls
Suspicious Activity: 8 Calls
Fighting: 4 Calls
Burglary: 3 Calls
Weapons: 3 Calls
Shots Fired: 3 Calls
Harassment: 3 Calls
Vandalism: 2 Calls
Stabbing: 1 Call
Sex Assault: 1 Call
Drugs: 1 Call
It also turns out, the taxpayer is footing the bill for this nuisance property at the tune of millions of dollars. Through the end of 2021, the program received $2,076,514 from St. Joseph County. In 2022, the property owner received $268,975 in taxpayer dollars from the county himself. And, that’s not including emergency rental assistance that has been paid out at taxpayer expense.
In a typical circumstance, a property like this would be considered a “nuisance property” facing several costly fines with the potential of being shut down. It’s unclear if any fines have been levied against the Motels 4 Now program or the property owner. RNM has requested that information and is waiting for it to be provided. Subscribers can view a copy of the ordinance below.
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There are also major problems with other homeless shelters in the community that are being funded by the taxpayer. RNM plans to run seperate stories on those operations.
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Who is approving these expenditures?