King’s Inn Crisis

Update: King’s Inn Crisis, by guest writer Shelley McKittrick, City of Aurora Homeless Programs Director

Background:
The King’s Motel near Colfax and Peoria has long been a low-cost housing destination for low-income and disabled residents of Denver who face a high risk of experiencing homelessness. Nearly 100 families call the 91 room motel home and many of them have lived there for years or even decades. Recently, the Inn was purchased by local man Avi Schwalby, who also owns 6 other motel properties on Colfax. Schwalby’s first act as landlord was to drastically raise rents—and begin evicting any resident that couldn’t come up with extra cash within only a few days. This created an immediate crisis as dozens of families now face living on the streets. The City of Aurora has intervened with rental vouchers for residents and the homeless services providers in the area have been scrambling to connect them with alternative housing solutions.
The Latest Developments
So far, 14 families have either been housed or have been approved for rental vouchers. Another 6 households have a Veteran and are thus working with the VA or SSVF programs to obtain housing. An additional 6 families are working with Aurora@Home/Aurora Housing Authority to be housed through a Rapid Rehousing program.

The Aurora City Council approved a $40,000 emergency fund for these residents and about $30,000 of it has already been expended. All funds being used are from our Marijuana Tax Revenue designated funding for Homelessness Initiatives. Colfax Community Network has set up a Gofundme to raise money to make up the expected shortfall in funds.

We continue to advocate for and search for housing for another 25 families or so. Major partners in this effort are: the City of Aurora, Colfax Community Network, Aurora Warms the Night, Aurora@Home and the Aurora Housing Authority, Aurora Mental Health Center/Homeless programs and Arapahoe County.

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