We’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about what happens to families who lose their homes to foreclosure. While there are certainly some families who’ve been foreclosed upon in our residency programs, the more typical scenario is that we give them food, rent help, utility payments or other essentials so they can start over somewhere new.
Homeless families in Salinas, California are finding help in an unlikely place: the El Dorado Motel. It all started when Siddiqi Hansoti, the motel operator, welcomed Gus Hernandez and his family a few months ago after Hernandez lost his job in the loan industry and then his home.
Hansoti extended Hernandez credit for a room even though he was homeless. Not long after, Gus became the motel’s assistant manager. Now, about half the rooms at the El Dorado house homeless families at deeply discounted rates.
Sadly, because of a decline in tourism a lot of small motel operators in the area turn a blind eye to prostitution and drugs because they need the revenue to pay their bills. Hansoti has a totally different approach that helps families and allows him to cover his costs.
The Salvation Army and other local churches have begun providing needed services at the El Dorado. Salvation Army Captain Philip Smith says they’re planning to provide an after-school program and some help for the parents to find employment. Smith is sitting down with the families this week to find out from them what more he can do to ease their transition back into a place of their own.
I’d say that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Hansoti and Hernandez have come up with a creative solution to a handful of social problems and everyone involved is the better for it.
Please click here to read the newspaper account of this story online in The Californian.