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A Motel Is No Place For A Working Family To Call Home

The Unaffordable Housing Crisis has forced many working families to live in extended-stay motels just to survive - What's the solution?

A formerly unsheltered resident - now living in a Quest Community - is giving back by helping other women and children escape homelessness.

Prior to being referred to Quest's Supportive Housing Program, Ms. Murphy had been living in extended stay motels throughout the city for over five years. This living arrangement had been the best possible solution for her at the time - living paycheck to paycheck. All was well until the day the motel she resided in was abruptly closed down by the state.

Inflated rents across the Atlanta region or prior evictions make apartment rental impossible for many low-income families. ​In recent years, close to 4,000 families in Metro Atlanta living in extended stay motels placed calls for help with the United Way 211 call center.

Protip Biswas -United Way of Greater Atlanta

Families in Metro Atlanta living in extended stays typically pay between $200 and $497 a week ($1988 per month), as much or more than they would pay for rent on an apartment.

Wages are a big part of the problem: four out of 10 metro Atlanta workers make less than $15.40 an hour – roughly $32,000 a year, which is $2,667 a month – according to the Brookings Institution. The median rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment in Metro Atlanta is about $1,800 a month, according to Rent Cafe. With 55% of households in Metro Atlanta being renter-occupied, this is a huge challenge - especially for low-income families.

Many individuals and families are struggling financially and can't afford the upfront COSTS that are needed to move into a rental unit. With our service partners, we hope to reduce the number of families living on the streets and in motels throughout Metro Atlanta.

Melissa Tyson - Program Director, Quest Cares

Ms. Murphy is now gainfully employed, paying her bills with the money she earns and saving for the future. She is loving her new apartment and is now looking forward to continuing on her path to self-sufficiency so that she will never have to face being homeless again.

We are so proud of Ms. Murphy and her newly developed sense of belonging. She was offered a position at the City of Refuge where she is now working and helping other formerly homeless women and children to overcome their struggles with dignity.



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