Homeless families told to leave hotels in GR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of homeless families have checked out of the Grand Rapids hotels they had been calling home.

Frantic moms started calling 24 Hour News 8 earlier this week after caseworkers informed them they had to leave by Friday.

“They just told me it was unforeseen circumstances,” said a mom of seven children who had been staying at one hotel since mid-September. “(They said) the funding was ending so pretty much had to find somewhere to go.”

24 Hour News 8 found five homeless families scrambling to pack their bags before noon checkout Friday at Hawthorn Suites on the East Beltline, north of 28th Street.

“It’s just really stressful,” said one mom of 11 year old twin boys. “Just to think, ‘where are we going to go?’ If I didn’t need help, I wouldn’t be here.”

Another mom had been staying at the hotel for a month with her eight children, ages 8 months through 11 years.

“Housing in Grand Rapids is so unfair because they have to realize that it’s a lot of people out here struggling that can’t afford this high rent,” she said.

The 29-year-old mom says she’s been trying to find stable shelter ever since she moved to Grand Rapids eight years ago from Cincinnati, where she lived in subsidized housing.

“It’s not fair at all,” said the mom of eight kids, all of whom stayed in the hotel room with her. “(They) didn’t give anybody time to have a plan B or anything, they just wanna throw someone out.”

But the head of the Coalition to End Homelessness insisted no one was getting kicked out.



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