Greensboro motel-turned-shelter provides a warm Christmas for people experiencing homelessness; ‘The best holiday I’ve experienced’

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It was just a year ago that Khafid Muhammad spent what he describes as a heartbreaking Christmas.

“Last Christmas I spent in the hospital– drugs put me in the hospital. I wasn’t in contact with my family at all. They actually didn’t like me at the time,” said Muhammad.

He fell into homelessness two years ago after some financial troubles. His only option was to live on the streets and in abandoned homes and cars, trying to survive.

“I thought there was no help for me,” he said.

That was until Greensboro city leaders turned the Regency Inn and Suites Motel off O’Henry Boulevard into a warming shelter for people like Muhammad.

He walked us inside and showed us around where he will be staying for the next three months. He calls this place home.

“It’s much warmer in here than it is outside,” he said.

 Outside turned dangerous for him. He always felt he had to watch his surroundings.

“Being that I’m in a safe environment, under a roof, that I don’t have to watch over my shoulder worrying about somebody watching me, I would say it’s actually the best holiday I have ever experienced.”

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

Tatum goes into the front office every morning to enjoy breakfast. It’s something that was not easy to find four months ago when she was down on her luck.

“It’s hard when you don’t have bus passes to get to these pantries and stuff to get clothes. Sometimes I wear my clothes for months,” she said.

While she struggled to get a roof over her head, her gift this year for Christmas will be memorable and meaningful.

“This Christmas is going to be great,” Tatum said. “I am so blessed to have this place.”

Both Tatum and Muhammad say they plan to take advantage of this housing opportunity for the next three months. In March they plan to have a job lined up as they look for a place to call their own.

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