About a week and a half ago, people living in the Fairview Lodge had their lives turned upside down. But thanks to one member in the community, people displaced from the Lodge, now have a new place to stay.
“We respond when we get a report and we received a report on a Thursday afternoon and by Monday or Tuesday we had issued the order,” said (Lisa Clute, executive officer First District Health Unit.
“They contacted me probably two weeks ago initially saying that they were going to be evicting the people out of the Fairview Lodge and was wondering if I had the ability to assist any of them in housing,” said Billy Kraft, general manager, Guest Lodge & Vegas Motel.
First District supplied everyone with a resource guide to help them move. Inside, they found they help they needed…The Guest Lodge.
“There’s children and disabled people that just simply can’t afford to barely make ends meet. So yeah, we were more than willing to try and help and step up the best we could to assist anybody that needed it,” Kraft said.
The Guest Lodge didn’t have the rooms available, but the Vegas Motel did.
The motel closed in 2018 because of the rise and fall of the oil boom, but the utilities were never shut off.
The motel charges people $500 per month. People get running water, electricity, cable, internet, heat and air conditioning. Which is something they didn’t have for the last few weeks.
“I think the lack of housing standards in the community is something that plagues us every once in a while and that may be some of the situation that occurred here,” Clute said.
The Vegas is currently zoned as a motel, but the owner is working with the city to find the best zoning for the way the motel operates–leasing out rooms long-term instead of renting out on a nightly basis.
Kraft has been renting rooms out for a while now and has about 11 people living in the Vegas. He’s willing to help anyone looking for a room.
“Working with these people I realized they all come from different paths, different walks of life. They come from addiction, abuse, all kinds of different issues and there aren’t a lot of resources out there to help everybody and there are certain disqualifications that prevent them from getting some of the help they need,” Kraft said.
The next step for the Fairview Lodge is getting all of the doors dead-bolted so people can’t get inside…again.