What does a meth dealer, a middle schooler, & a single mom all have in common?

They all live at the same hotel.

We’ve been staying at motels & hotels across the southern U.S. recently. One common thread I’ve noticed is that, due to the housing shortage, hotel prices have went up, while quality has went down. Dramatically.

Smarmy hotel owners are taking advantage of this fact, charging $90-$200 a night for a fleabag motel. Allowing rampant drug abuse, domestic violence, & filth…all around the innocent children & families that are staying there because they have no other options.

Here’s the scam:

🏨 hotels keep certain rooms reserved for weekly rates. These are usually the worst, most unsafe rooms at the back of the property.

🏨 they block off certain rooms at the front of the property for walk ins & tourists. These are the most recently renovated & cleanest rooms you see in the photos on the website.

🏨 some hotels (like the one we’re staying at currently) make deals with staff members, paying them under the table & giving them a room, in what can only be described as a human trafficking situation.

🏨 They know they’re breaking a dozen health/safety violations, among other laws, so they boot out guests that threaten to involve the authorities. They avoid police presence at all costs.

🏨 they ignore/deny bad reviews/complaints, refuse refunds, etc.

When this homelessness journey started for us a couple months ago, one of our first stops was our hometown in Florida, to visit family in the hopes of getting help or at the very least, some empathy. (We were denied on both counts 😒).

I paid $123 for 1 night at what was considered the “fancy” hotel when I was growing up. Not only was it now filthy & falling apart, but the place was filled to the brim with homeless people, scam artists, & “riff raff”.

When we complained about the conditions of the place, we were essentially booted out & denied a refund or another night. (The owner literally stood outside of our room to ensure we removed our belongings).

(Don’t even get me started on the place we’re staying now. And the horrible thing is, there’s a dozen other hotels in the area that would be just as bad. :/ )

Clearly, the title “slumlord” is now applicable to hotel/motel owners.

It’s to the point you can hardly find decent, safe places to stay because the lack of affordable housing is driving everyone (including the unseemly) to the same place: your local hotel.

So if you’re wondering why the quality has gone down at your hometown hotel, now you know: lack of affordable housing is pushing both the chickens & the foxes into the coop, & heartless hotel owners are seeing dollar signs.

Hotels are not homes. They’re not made to be lived in long-term.

We need safe, affordable housing NOW — so that middle schoolers & drug dealers don’t have to share walls.

Update 8/19/2022: We’re still living in hotels lol. Albeit, the one we’re in now is much nicer. I think there’s some sort of program here that allows recently released inmates to clean and maintain the property, and lemme tell you, these guys keep the place spotless. Extremely hard workers, and not nearly as much drama as the previous hotel we were living at. I want to clarify one thing, after we left the previous hotel, we found out that much of the drama we were experiencing was being caused by just a couple unstable individuals. I can’t say I myself was entirely stable while we were there, either. We all go through things, and I made some judgments when I wrote this post originally (about 3-4 months ago) that weren’t fair to the people living in and running the hotel. They were all just people trying to get by and do their best. I do think the deal they made with the owner was unfair to them and manipulative on the part of the hotel owner; but I also realize that without that unfair deal, the hotel’s employees would literally have nowhere to live. So as unfair and smarmy as it is, it’s how they’re surviving right now. Many of them had health conditions, family issues, and other things going on. Turns out, they were actually really nice people. We left the hotel on good terms with the employees and owner, despite the difficulties of our stay. I wondered if the reason we were there is because God wanted us praying for these people. Instead, I did a lot more complaining than praying. I regret that. Please learn from my mistake.