posted by Mike on July 14th, 2005

Weekly items:

  • South Bend Tribune: Day shelter a good idea to fill a void:


    We were glad to see the South Bend Common Council give its OK to a proposed day shelter for homeless men.

    The request came from Catholic Worker of Michiana, which plans to open a facility in a vacant building at 744 S. Main St.

    The proposed shelter’s location — just around the corner from the Center for the Homeless and a few blocks from Hope Rescue Mission — makes it a good one to fill what Catholic Worker officials call a void in the city.

    As noted in a recent story by Tribune staff writers Jeff Parrott and Joseph Dits, there’s a real need for a place where homeless men can drop in during the day and do such things as get a bite to eat, find refuge from the elements, shower and receive phone calls and mail.

    In voting 8-0 to grant the Catholic Worker a special zoning request — a vote that followed a large show of support from the local religious and social service communities — the council separated this issue from one involving the three homeless shelters the group is operating on West Washington Street.

    That was a good decision. Each of these projects deserves to be considered on its own merits. And by that standard, the Catholic Worker’s proposed day shelter is a good idea for South Bend.

  • Many items this week from the Worcester, Massachusetts press about the city’s efforts to stop panhandling and decide where to site future social service agencies:
    • Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Article today about the Worcester Homeless Action Committee launching:

      . . . a public education and action campaign dedicated to extinguishing chronic homelessness . . . .

      The campaign will educate the public via billboards, direct mail and a Web site.

      . . . The committee wants to see life breathed back in to the city’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

      This article is followed by another summarizing a recent academic study (pdf) which profiled Worcester “as a model for combating vagrancy.” P&C will be reading this study and writing its own summary this weekend.

    • Worcester Magazine: is chock-full of stuff relating to social service siting. The cover story explores the East Side-West Side resentments that have come out in the battles over where social services will be sited. A brief item notes the resignation of a member of the city’s task force on siting social services. (Earlier this week, the task force held a meeting that was said to be open to the public, then kicked out the press and activists who arrived.) Finally, the editorial takes on the panhandling issue, with the almost-clever style that is too often Womag’s editorial voice.
  • The Worcester drama made it to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s June NIMBY Report.

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