Fifteen months ago Mecklenburg County opted to do the right thing and put 100s of Charlotte’s homeless up in hotels in order to keep them safe from COVID. The hope was they would be better able to maintain social distance and decrease their risk of contracting the disease. However, they say no good deed goes unpunished and this is one of those cases. Now Mecklenburg County is having to pay over $200,000 for hotel damages caused by homeless individuals they helped out.
The County rented out two hotels near the airport last March which was not a cheap endeavor. Those actions were able to provide shelter to 240 individuals during a tough time full of unknowns. But now they are having to add $207,000 to that bill. Mattresses, curtains, furniture, carpet, and pretty much everything you’d find in a hotel room were included on the list of damages. The list was presented to the County Commissioners at a recent meeting. Understandably they were left with a lot of questions. Homeless services believe many of these damages occurred due to the prevalence of mental issues among those staying in the hotels. This, they say, is just the cost of helping out those individuals. According to Fox 48 Charlotte, many homeless are still residing in the hotels, which have not yet reopened to the public.
Should the county be held accountable for $200,000 for the hotel damages by the homeless?