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Colfax Community Network What Powerful Interventions for People Who Are Living in Motels on the Edge of Nowhere

June 7, 2017

Colfax Community Network What Powerful Interventions for People Who Are Living in Motels on the Edge of Nowhere

You might hear about it in the news, but hear it directly from the community via CCN: “Kings Inn is a huge piece of the housing puzzle out here in Aurora,” Barb, a Kings Inn resident shares with CCN’s executive director Megan Vizina. Recently the motel has come under new ownership and evictions, rate increases and new owners turning away the steady stream of donors coming to drop off food at the motel have given way to hostility, panic and fear. Barb’s rent went up from $857 monthly to $1400 which she discovered upon attempting to pay her rent last week.
Folks gather ’round Megan, who is sitting on the stairs of the motel to share their own stories of fear. Past evictions, felonies from years ago, disability, or lack of affordable housing are just a few of the reasons that prevent people from securing more stable housing. With 99 rooms, the Kings Inn is a large landmark on Colfax Avenue. It’s been a default shelter for hundreds of families and individuals throughout the years. Its’ size also creates a unique sense of community, “If somebody doesn’t have something, someone always has your back,” Barb says through her kind smile as she watches a toddler breeze by, “See, he’s my family!” exclaimed Barb to Megan, with delight. The community is palpable.
And so is the resistance to this new era of ownership. Residents have organized themselves, contacted press, City of Aurora staff and Colfax Community Network to advocate and stand up for their rights. And yet, in so many ways the fight has only just begun as downtown Aurora is on a direct path towards gentrification.
“We are elderly, disabled, working people and families living here. We are not looking for someplace to crash for the night. We are just looking for someplace to call home.”
Want to know more? Interested in how you can support? Email: megan@colfaxcommunitynetwork.org
#grassrootsorganizing
#housingfirst
#housingisahumanright
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