GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The former Regency Inn and Suites in Greensboro has been vacant for six months. It was used as a warming shelter for people experiencing homelessness this past winter. 

The old motel at 2701 North O. Henry Boulevard was planned to be permanent supportive housing but has instead been the target of vandals. There are several windows in the building that are smashed, doors are broken and rooms boarded up. 

As the temperatures begin to drop again, the future of the site is uncertain. 

“Let’s put the housing we own to work,” said Zack Matheny, district three city council representative. “I’m not going to support buying any more housing when we have the hotel sitting empty.”

The 60 rooms in the complex are not close to being ready to house people. 

In Nov. 2021, the city partnered with local organizations including Partnership Homes, The Interactive Resource Center and Greensboro Urban Ministries to open the motel as a warming shelter. 

It gave people experiencing homelessness an option. 

“I do think they should reopen it,” said Lois Yow, who lives nearby the building. “It’s somewhere to stay warm, so they’re not going to get cold at night or die on the side of the street.” 

The building was at full capacity when it was open, according to Partnership Homes President Michael Cooke. Partnership Homes own the property. The city loaned the organization $3 million to purchase the motel.

Each room had a bed, heat and running water for people. 

Anegla Tatum stayed there in December 2021. 

“I’m so grateful to be off the streets to take a bath,” Tatum said. “They even got food for you. Clothes for you. I’m forever grateful.” 

In March, the building was shut down as temperatures heated up. The homeless stayed around, and that’s when Yow saw it change her nearby neighborhood. 

“There’s more people out like on the corners…living on sides of streets, even in the graveyard down off of Summit Avenue,” she said. 

Cooke told FOX8 he’s waiting on direction from city leaders for what happens with the building.

Matheny brought up the future of the site during the city council meeting on Monday. 

“The city should’ve at that time when we bought that building, had our own money that when those folks move out, we begin construction,” he said. “People would be living in there right now, and we could knock about 64 to 100 people off the streets and into a home with wrap-around services.” 

Cooke told FOX8 it needs around $40,000 in maintenance, time to make the repairs and staffing to welcome guests. 

“It’s just really important we get these people off the streets and make sure they’re safe,” Yow said. 

The city council is meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, to address the situation.