CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte residents living in hotel rooms but displaced during the Democratic National Convention next week are finding new housing options. Local motel rooms were booked up for the DNC months ago, or have higher rates than permanent residents can afford.
“With some of the families being displaced by the hotels, we're working with some other providers to make sure we can expand our sheltering opportunities here,” said Deronda Metz of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is joining together with other charities, shelters, and churches, providing a multi-prong approach to handle those people displaced by convention guests. Some people will be put in shelters, while others will be given extra money to cover the increased rates hotels are charging during convention week.
The problem was largely unexpected by community groups, but they’re now using the situation to plan for future events.
“I think the good thing is now we have a plan,” said Metz.
NewsChannel 36 viewers showed an outpouring of support for 27-year-old Nadina Monroe who was featured in a report last week. The full-time student was being forced out of her Motel 6 room in south Charlotte to make room for pre-booked convention guests. She had lived in the motel for two months because she couldn’t afford an apartment lease.
“Right now my friend is letting me stay with her for a while until the DNC is over,” said Monroe.
Monroe is sleeping on the floor of her friend’s east Charlotte apartment. And without a car, her commute across town has now tripled in length.
“Normally on the bus ride its only 30 minutes to 15 minutes, from here it’s like an hour and 30 minutes.”
She said words of support by strangers helped her while she was figuring out where to go.
“I had a lot of phone calls come through when I was at the hotel,” she said. “I'm reaching out for help, not just for me, but for everyone in my situation.”
Residents being displaced from hotel rooms during the convention week are encouraged to contact the Salvation Army, which may then connect them to the appropriate agency.