July 14th, 2023
Dear Mayor-elect Mike Johnston,
We are writing to ask that you follow through on your campaign promises to support housing for the houseless. We are residents of the Rodeway Inn, a hotel used as a non-congregate shelter for women and LGBTQ+ houseless people since 2020. DHA is selling the property and kicking us to the curb without securing housing for all residents. On August 24th 2023, we must all be out, and yet – only a few residents have housing lined up to move into, only some residents have housing vouchers to use, and many residents have no housing or housing voucher lined up at all. Without assistance, we will be put back on the streets or in shelters – the places we came from where we nearly died, faced hate/assault/violence, and were targeted for who we are.
We have sent a petition (see attached), signed by 44 residents, to HOST asking that they provide housing, or at least bridge housing, for all residents so that everyone has a safe hotel room to stay in while we await permanent housing. We ask that you support this petition in your position as Mayor. This must include the following:
- Ensure all Rodeway residents have safe hotel stay as we await housing by either…
- Option 1: Extend stay at Rodeway until the end of December and with time for residents to find secure housing*
- Option 2: OR, if option 1 is not possible, secure other hotels rooms for all residents (regardless if they are in rapid rehousing or have a voucher or not) to stay until they secure housing**
- Commit to securing housing vouchers or other permanent housing for all residents who do not yet have housing secured (this could be done through an ask of DHA to provide any final vouchers needed if the State vouchers do not come through or through other means).
- Ensure case managers through Gathering Place and Salvation Army are kept on until all residents have secured housing and moved into housing to ensure continuity of case management.*
In addition to this, we ask that you come to the Rodeway and meet with residents directly to understand the context and specifics of the need, and to make a commitment directly to residents to secure safe housing for all.
Our lives are not disposable. Telling us to go back to the shelters or streets after having stability in this hotel is not acceptable. We need you as Mayor to live up to your campaign promises and ensure every resident has real housing.
*See attached the contract that passed through City Council funding Salvation Army and Gathering Place to run the Rodeway through the end of 2023. Four months of funding is left that should be used for these residents.
**See attached details for any bridge hotel used for residents upon closure of Rodeway while awaiting housing.