Coronavirus | Featured Stories

Fort Lauderdale Ends Program for Homeless Housing in Hotels

wftl logo png

Time is running out for dozens of homeless people who have spent the past few months in Fort Lauderdale hotels due to the pandemic.

In an early effort to try stopping the spread of the coronavirus last May, the city put up 72 people without homes in the Rodeway in Dania Beach, as well as at another area hotel. At that time, city leaders said it was inhumane for people to live on streets as the world was dealing with a pandemic.

However, as South Florida has become the epicenter of the disease, Fort Lauderdale officials have reversed course, saying it is time for the homeless to leave those accommodations. The program has cost the city $530,000.

“I was so relieved being off the street,” Shauna Cartwright says. She adds that she felt like she mattered during that time.

Cartwright was told last Friday that she has to leave the hotel, and that she could go to the Salvation Army.

She refused to go there, explaining that it would bring back bad memories. The city has agreed to give her one more night at the hotel.

“They are going back on their their word,” she adds.

About a dozen people left the hotel for other shelters on Friday, according to Cartwright.

Jeff Weinberger, founder of October 22nd Alliance to End Homelessness, says that he feels as if city officials have misled him and others.

“And now were are at the zero hour and obviously the city hasn’t kept its promise,” he explains.

Weinberger says the last of the homeless are expected to have left the Rodeway Inn by Sunday.