CHARLOTTE — The tens of thousands of people coming to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention means some homeless or low-income families need to find a new place to stay. Many who live in motels are forced to leave because they can’t afford the increase in rates, while others are forced to move because of security zones.

“There are some folks that may be sleeping outside in areas that are restricted,” said Executive Director of Urban Ministry Center Dale Mullennix. “The crowd we’re most anticipating dealing with are families impacted by the raising of the rates of these pay-by-the-week hotels.”

Motels close to center city are raising their rates, trying to cash in on the tens of thousands of extra people in town. Most low-income families can’t pay, forcing them back on the streets.

“It means that the children and families we serve may be displaced from the motels that they’ve been calling home,” said Executive Director of A Child’s Place Annabelle Suddreth.

The homeless services network raised $20,000 to help fix the problem during the DNC. Some of the money will go toward paying the increased hotel rates. Others will help fund the “Room at the Inn” program, which is normally a winter shelter. The homeless service center will increase its hours and offer more dinners throughout the week.

The Homeless Services Network is watching Tampa and heard from Denver, a previous host city, to see how they handle homelessness during a convention.

From News 14 Carolina, Aug. 28, 2012

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