South Bend mayor not backing jobs proposal for panhandlers

South Bend's mayor isn't going to seek money for a city councilman's proposal to hire panhandlers for cleanup work in parks and public spaces.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg's deputy chief of staff says groups assisting the homeless have found most of the city's panhandlers aren't homeless. Suzanna Fritzberg tells the South Bend Tribune that service providers doubt many panhandlers would take the jobs paying the city employee minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

Hope Ministries executive director David Vanderveen says he doesn't think the proposal would reduce panhandling much around South Bend. He says more attention should go toward helping people who are truly homeless.

The mayor's committee on homelessness has recommended opening an intake center near the downtown and 50 more units of "permanent supportive housing" around the city.

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