(Michigan City, IN) - Dozens of people were forced to find other housing Friday after a condemned motel where they were living in Michigan City was shutdown. Kings Inn at 201 W. Kieffer Road came under an order to vacate immediately at 8:30 a.m.
Various agencies involved in finding emergency shelter for people were given a written notice of the order from the Michigan City Code Enforcement Department. Failure by the motel to pass a final fire code inspection on Thursday was cited in the order for guests to leave the premises immediately.
“We are outreaching people that may not have anywhere to go. That will probably be over 50 people,” said Lindsey Patty of the Path Program at Swanson Center. She said most of the displaced motel guests were from the La Porte and Michigan City areas.
Jim Musial, Director of Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, said people on extended stays at the motel typically lost their jobs and don’t have enough money to pay the next month’s rent. He said the cheap rates for a room is all they can afford until they land back on their feet. Musial said other individuals have income from just Social Security when different circumstances forced them to live temporarily at the motel. “It’s where people go because they don’t want to go to a homeless shelter,” he said.
Social workers were busy talking to people forced out of their rooms to find out who did or did not have another a place to go right away. Musial said one of the facilities with available space was Sand Castle, a shelter for homeless families on Michigan City’s north end.
A two night stay at rooms at other motels were also offered along with money to help pay for the higher rates, he said. Musial said social workers were aware a shutdown of the motel was possible several weeks ago but notice of vacancy came at the last minute. Nevertheless, he said needs were being met by organizations that work closely together and follow a plan for such a happening. “Our systems of collective impact exist for this very kind of emergency,” he said.
Patty said the task of finding immediate shelter for people needing it was quite challenging but one she hoped to accomplish. “We’re giving it our best effort,” she said.