Monday, February 01, 2016

Financial planner turns rundown Route 66 hotel into transitional housing for rural homeless

With the surge of interstates depleting historic roads like Route 66, forcing many hotels in rural areas to close up shop, a financial planner came up with the idea to turn a rundown hotel into transitional housing to help the area's homeless make the leap from shelter to home, Laurel Morales and Mark Neuman report for NPR. Rural homelessness is on the rise—seven percent of America's homeless are in rural areas—and in areas like Flagstaff, Ariz., rent can be high and waits long for low-income or subsidized housing. (Morales photo)

After volunteering at an emergency shelter—where she saw that many of the homeless were employed or were homeless because of job loss, foreclosure or eviction, Lori Barlow decided to turn the old 66 Motel into ANEW Living Community, which now houses about 50 people, reports Morales and Neuman. "Many work seasonal jobs or rely on Social Security or disability checks to pay the rent." One resident, William Fulton, serves as the community's handyman, providing work around the building in exchange for rent.

ANEW Living Community offers residents classes, such as financial literacy, job interview skills, interpersonal skills, coping from loss or trauma, social activities, healthy lifestyles, cooking on a budget and computer skills, states the organization's website. Meetings and classes "are designed to enhance a person’s basic life and coping skills."

Morales and Neuman report in a separate story, "A lot of the residents are making a new go of it." Barlow "helps them with budgeting and provides a computer room and a list of community resources. Residents have two years to pull their lives together."

1 comment:

Webb Rowan said...

This is a wonderful encouragement to others, not just in the finance industry to do what they can to give back to the people. Every small act of kindness goes a long way and I bet that the people who benefit can't be more grateful for this help!