The Greenville Homeless Alliance is launching a response plan for families who become displaced following motel being condemned.
Community organizations came together to draft a plan after the Economy Inn on Augusta Road was condemned in January leaving dozens of families with nowhere to go.
“It was like an emergency crisis occurred on one of the coldest nights of the year,” Susan McLarty, the coordinator of the Greenville Homeless Alliance said.
She said several meetings followed in the months after the motel was condemned.
“Through those meetings we said what would it look like to have a better coordinated response, and that’s what we’ve drafted,” McLarty said.
She says with the plan, Code Enforcement will alert her if another motel is about to be condemned. Then, the primary response team will immediately assemble.
“We would set up right there in the parking lot,” McLarty said. “As the families or individuals are displaced, those services are right there.”
She says at first, they’ll focus on giving the families food and temporary shelter. She says they hope this will create a more swift reaction than they were able to give people living at the Economy Inn.
“We had to start them over from being uprooted from their situation,” community activist Traci Fant said.
People living in these motels often pay between $900 and $1800 a month to live. Community organizers say many of these people face barriers such as not being able to save to afford deposits that are often needed with apartments or homes, or they may have an eviction on their record which keeps them from being able to secure housing.
Fant says even though motels are expensive, they can also be a more affordable option. She says ,” $800 a month in a hotel included cable, included lights, included water.”
The plan takes all of the barriers into consideration, but they say it’s crucial to get the county’s support.
“It’s a need,” Fant said. “Anytime that you can supply resources to people.”
The Homeless Alliance will present the plan to Greenville County Council on Tuesday. McLarty says they’ll present to Greenville City Council the following week.
People can donate to the Angel Fund which helps families who may find themselves in similar situations.