Mecklenburg County to pay hotels over $200k for damages by homeless; ‘we’re so grateful to the owners of this hotel’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Mecklenburg County is shelling out $207,000 to pay for damages accrued at hotels used to house the homeless. 

Back in March of last year, the county opted to house hundreds of homeless in two hotels near the airport to allow them to socially distance and avoid COVID. It was costly to rent out entire hotels but recently FOX 46 learned the costs didn’t stop there. 

“What was done that requires $207,000 to repair?” asked Commissioner Leigh Altman in last week’s board meeting. 

The County Commissioners listened to a presentation of funding requests, from the County Manager’s report, and were left with many questions. All of the questions surrounded an ask of $207,000 to repair hotel rooms damaged by the homeless community. 

“I was surprised, which is why I went back and asked some more in-depth questions about it,” Altman told FOX 46.  The list of damages to the hotel was all across the board. 

“The itemized list that was provided to staff and includes damages to mattresses, drapes, some of the furnishing the carpet as well, pretty much everything in the vicinity of a hotel room is listed on that,” the Assistant County Manager said.

Homeless Services released a statement that said many of these damages were accrued because of the sheer amount of people with mental health issues that stayed in the hotels. 

“This is part of supporting folks who have often significant mental health troubles, you know, substance abuse, addiction issues, and we just need to keep doing the hard work,” Altman said. 

Two hundred and forty men, women, and children were housed in the two hotels between March and November of 2020.

“We’re so grateful to the owners of this hotel, for their willingness to help us shelter this population,” Altman said. 

FOX 46 went by the hotels and saw many homeless people still residing there. The hotels are still not open to the public. 

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