FOR RELEASE: Thursday, February 2, 2017





Today Mayor Buttigieg announced the formation of a mayor’s working group to address homelessness in the City, which met for the first time on Wednesday afternoon February 1. The group includes representatives from social service agencies, businesses, city administration and residents. The group will continue to meet over the course of the next 6 months to develop a strategic plan for addressing chronic homelessness throughout South Bend.


“Homelessness is a long-term challenge that affects both the most vulnerable in our community and our residents as a whole.” Mayor Buttigieg said. “As we prepare for new homelessness housing options opening this fall, this group of community members, business owners, and policy experts will help develop a sustainable response to the human, social, and economic costs of homelessness.”

The working group will address solutions in the areas of housing, shelter and short-term services, mental health and substance use, public safety, and employment. The group’s members have been charged with developing a strategic plan and adoption guide for adoption by the City of South Bend Common Council and other stakeholders. The composition and format of the commission draw on best practices in cities that have formed similar groups, including Chicago and Fort Wayne.

The FUSE project, a collaboration with South Bend Heritage, is scheduled to open in fall 2017 with 32 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals. The City, in partnership with the regional Continuum of Care, also entered the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness last November.


Working Group Members


Pam Meyer, Director of Neighborhood Engagement, Department of Community Investment

Cherri Peate, Director of Community Outreach, Office of the Mayor

Suzanna Fritzberg, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor

Assistant Chief Jim Luccki, South Bend Fire Department

Captain Tim Lancaster, South Bend Police Department 

Councilwoman Jo Broden, 4th District

Councilman Randy Kelly, 3rd District



Representative of those experiencing homelessness    

Lani Vivirito, Continuum of Care and Center for the Homeless

Steve Camilleri, Center for the Homeless

David Vanderveen, Hope Ministries

Diana Hess, Neighborhood Resources Connection

Jeff Rea, Chamber of Commerce

Phil Newbold, Beacon Health System

Komonique Thomas, Goodwill Industries

Ralph Komasinski, business owner

Dr. Fred Ferlic, community representative

Willow Weatherall, community representative

Charlotte Pfiefer, community representative, 466Works

Sharon McBride, St. Joseph County Community Corrections

Kevin Smith, business owner

Leo Priemer, business owner 

Dr. De Bryant, IUSB

​Representative of the University of Notre Dame