Commissioner Robert Patrick partners with St. Vincent de Paul to launch DeKalb’s First Motel-to-Home Program

DeKalb County Commissioner Robert Patrick. Photo obtained via DeKalb County.

DeKalb County, GA — Commissioner Robert Patrick has partnered with St. Vincent de Paul Georgia to help DeKalb families living in extended stay motels to move to permanent housing through the organization’s Motel-to-Home Program, a press release said.

To disrupt the extended stay motel trap, the Motel-to-Home Program helps families pay the necessary upfront costs of moving, and pairs families with a dedicated caseworker who provides information and resources to promote economic mobility and a path to self-sufficiency, the press release said.

Many working-class families who find themselves on the brink of homelessness relocate to extended stays as temporary housing solutions. They often become entrapped in a situation that makes it very difficult to transition to more permanent, stable housing, the press release said.

Saving money for upfront rental costs such as deposits, application fees, first month’s rent, eviction debt, or credit repair becomes impossible.

The Motel-to-Home Program was established as a response to a groundbreaking 2019 study, When Extended Stay Becomes Home, conducted by LiveNorcross, a housing task force of Commissioner Patrick’s former employer. The study found that income was not the issue of motel residents housing problems—many of them had full-time jobs and were paying motels the same, if not more, than the cost of rent.

Their problems stemmed from small-to-moderate financial barriers that served as roadblocks to permanent housing.

Commissioner Patrick said he understands that housing is a complex issue with many layers that impact different segments of the populations in various ways.

“Families, especially those with children, need stability,” Commissioner Patrick stated. “If the only barriers preventing those living in motels from finding permanent housing are small-to-moderate financial hurdles, let’s assist these families in getting to better a place not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.”

Using funds allocated by Commissioner Patrick, St. Vincent has placed a single mother of three in a permanent home who had been living in an extended stay for over a year.

After a pilot year in Norcross, St. Vincent de Paul’s Motel-to-Home Program is launching its first interventions in DeKalb County this year, thanks to support from Commissioner Patrick’s office.

“Extended stay motels are not stable housing, and yet tens of thousands of metro Atlantans call them home,” said St. Vincent de Paul CEO Patrick McNulty. Motel-to-Home gives residents a chance to stabilize their finances, maintain uninterrupted school enrollment for their children, and provide sustainable housing to working families. “We are excited to launch this program in DeKalb County, where we have worked for over a hundred years to support low-income families with basic services.”

To learn more about the Motel-to-Home Program, visit www.svdpgeorgia.org/what-we-do/housing/motel-to-home/ or send an email to [email protected].

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