CHARLOTTE, N.C. — People who count on pay-by-the-week motels as a place to call home are in for a shock.

In some cases, motels that normally charge $35 to $40, are raising their rates by hundreds of dollars a night during the Democratic National Convention.

Trish Hobson at the Charlotte Men’s Shelter said, “I do think there will be an affect on the homeless population.”

Hobson said the shelter is now providing beds to some 570 men on an average night. She says the shelter is prepared to provide space if more is needed.

“I think the big question mark is we are just not really sure how many people in the homeless community are actually going to be displaced,” Hobson said.

The shelter only provides help for men.

“Several of our families call motels home just out of a lack of an affordable place to live,” said Annabelle Suddreth, the executive director of A Child’s Place, a non-profit organization devoted to helping homeless children.

Suddreth is trying to convince motels to agree to deals that would allow otherwise homeless children and their parents to hold on to the places where they are now staying so the kids can also stay in school.

“We want those children to be in the same place so the transportation is set up and they are in school and learning as they should be,” said Suddreth.

If that effort fails, dozens of area churches who are part of the Urban Ministry Center’s “Room at the Inn” program are being asked to provide bed space.

St, John’s Baptist Church on Hawthorne Lane is expected to be open to the homeless on the Fridays before and after the convention.

Some 20 other churches are being asked to provide similar help on other days for families that need space to live.

Suddreth said, “we just need for our families to be safe and stable, not only during this great, extraordinary event that is happening in Charlotte but through the whole school year.”

From WCNC, Aug. 20, 2012

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