About 80 residents of Wayside Christian Mission’s emergency shelters checked into the old Hotel Louisville building at 2nd and Broadway Wednesday night.
The residents are renting economy rooms for one penny per night. Wayside owns the hotel and intends to turn it into a shelter for women and families, but the city’s zoning board has not yet decided whether a shelter can operate downtown. Wayside Director Nina Moseley says she can’t wait any longer for decision.
“A process like that going to run it way into next year before anything is decided. In the meantime we have the cold weather coming in. Every family shelter in town is full with a waiting list and we do not want any of our women or children to freeze,” says Moseley. “The folks that checked in the hotel are all folks who had been in the emergency shelter for several months, and so they are stabilized and ready to transition on to something different. Those are the folks we used to fill our economy rooms.”
Moseley says Wayside is still a nonprofit and is running the hotel legally. She says she’s cleared the operation with Metro Government and will pay hotel taxes on all revenues.
“We’re following all of the rules as they’re told to us and taking care of our folks until such time that we are allowed to operate a shelter here,” she says.
Residents must check out for one night after 30 days, but can check back in afterward. There is currently a waiting list for the economy rooms. Other rooms are being rented for 129 dollars per night.