Short term rentals in Southwest Michigan including the City of New Buffalo, Three Oaks, New Buffalo Township, Chikaming Township and the City of South Haven have been shut down by local government orders to help stop the spread of COVID- 19. It is the position of the local government officials that short term rentals do not qualify as an essential business under the March 23 stay-at-home-order of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The order of Governor Whitmer is in effect through April 13,.
Farina & Wojcik was successful in obtaining a Use Variance from the Michigan City Board of Zoning Appeals to allow the Interfaith Community PADS ( Public Action Delivering Shelter) to establish a permanent location to conduct it Men’s Homeless Shelter housing at the former Sacred Heart Church at 1001 W. Eighth St. in Michigan City. For the past seventeen years the Michigan City Mens Homeless Shelter , the only shelter of its type in LaPorte County Indiana ( a community of approximately 125,000 residents) has conducted its housing operations from six different churches located throughout Michigan City on a rotating basis each night. The ability to have a permanent mens shelter on an established bus route with the women’s and family homeless shelters nearby will enable families to remain closer as a family unit and will be a positive step in helping men who are down on their luck obtain housing and job training skills thereby enabling them to secure employment and a move to their own permanent housing. Harrison Holtkamp Executive Director of Interfaith Community PADS who has been a volunteer for the PADS program since its inception testified through a powerful oral and video presentation as to the positive effects the PADS organization has had on assisting men who were temporarily down on their luck obtain housing and job skills to enable them to leave the shelter and become employed. Fr. Kevin Huber as a representative of the Diocese of Gary expressed the importance the programs of the Interfaith Community PADS provide to the community and stated the Diocese wanted to provide continued support for PADS through the establishment of the permanent facility by donating the former Sacred Heart Church and rectory to Interfaith Community PADS.