Hotels For Homeless - And Response (4)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The city of Chattanooga's homeless population is growing at an incredible rate.  These are not Chattanoogans losing their homes.  These are transients coming here because the word is out that Chattanooga is a good place to be homeless (we are a compassionate people). 

I've just learned the city is going to provide hotel rooms for these individuals.  This just makes Chattanooga an even better place to be homeless. 

Look out people. If you thought the homeless problem was growing in Chattanooga, you ain't seen nothin yet. 

If anyone has had any doubt about the level of intelligence of the people we have running the city, you should have no doubt now.  Our elected officials and their appointees are begging for more of these people to migrate here.  

The reasonable thing to do is take care of our own when they fall on hard times.  As to the transients coming here, lets help them continue to transit. 

Jerry Yates

* * * 

If Chattanooga wants to bankrupt itself attracting all the homeless in the region with free housing, fine by me; I don’t pay Chattanooga taxes, and I don’t live there.

What I’m not fine with is Chattanooga sending their homeless to East Ridge. We have a homeless problem on our own, and we are already the most densely-populated city in the state of Tennessee; there flat-out isn’t room here to house Chattanooga’s homeless population as well.

There are plenty of hotels inside Chattanooga city limits, if your city council feels that strongly about it, unless the real idea was simply to relocate them away from the voters.

In addition, the city of East Ridge was not consulted on this move; in fact, our mayor and city manager found out about it the same way we all did, by reading the news.

Charles McCullough
East Ridge

* * *

Mr. Yates was right in his post about the plan to displace the homeless from near City Hall to a neighboring city. The impact on East Ridge restaurants and businesses trying to come back after the effects of the China Plague could be devastating.

Was Budgetel Inn really the low bidder or the only bidder? There are many questions as to why Chattanooga hotels weren’t chosen to solve a Chattanooga issue. The residents and business owners of East Ridge need to know if any of the trendy downtown hotels even submitted bids on this progressive boondoggle.

Another issue is meals. So where are they expected to eat? The Community Kitchen and Miller Park meals are nearly 10 miles away from Budgetel Inn. Once they are out of Chattanooga, it appears feeding them would be someone else’s problem. That’s because the enlightened progressives dream up this stuff, even when it hasn’t worked elsewhere.

Once again Einstein was right about doing the same thing over and over when it doesn’t work. That’s also the definition of progressivism.

Ralph Miller

* * *

Mr. McCullough, Mr. Yates, and Mr. Miller are correct. The city of Chattanooga has no right to make a plan to move their homeless population into the city of East Ridge.

We worked diligently to clean up the property that is now the Budgetel. When the transient population who was there before paid for their own rooms, the police, fire and EMS were there constantly, multiple times per day.  Do you know how difficult it was to force them to leave when it was determined the property was actually unsafe and was condemned?  It wasn’t just difficult logistically, it was heartbreaking. 

If this new population doesn’t have to pay, how much respect will they have for the property, for the neighbors, or the nearby business? What happens in 90 days when they have to move? 

Is the city of Chattanooga going to reimburse the city of East Ridge for the extra police, fire and EMS time and effort?

Housing is a great idea, Mr. Yonts and Mr. Berke, but do it within your own city Limits. You have lots of hotels and motels in Chattanooga.

Pam Stone

* * * 

Parking 100 homeless in an East Ridge hotel for 90 days is like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound and a dirty trick on the town of East Ridge. Typically, the chronically homeless have drug, alcohol, and psychiatric issues and having them live en masse greatly magnifies the dangers which also attracts drug dealers, prostitutes and pimps.

Many homeless prefer to panhandle to make money. I was at a convenience store on Bonny Oaks a few years ago and a homeless panhandler who worked the Lee Highway-Bonny Oaks area boasted to me that he made $500 on a slow day and almost double on Sundays; $4,000 weekly, tax free.  He said he had come to town on a bus from Indiana, to work the area.

Currently, Los Angeles and other California cities are housing many of their homeless in hotels. Project Room Key. These hotels become infested with lice, bed bugs, rodents, etc. and there is no way to do effective pest control with rooms fully and constantly occupied. Very rapidly, these hotels become trashed and the area becomes a magnet for very unsavory types.

I have heard stories that were frightening and shocking. There needs to be another permanent solution for getting the homeless off the streets. Why not buy up an area near the current shelters and set up military style barracks? It would be adequate enough.

Leslie Mitts


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