Calhoun, a small town (15,000) in NW Georgia formerly relying on the carpet industry, has been ravaged by the housing industry shutdown. Homelessness and poverty are rampant. The community has no shelter and limited services. Many people turned to the Oglethorpe Inn, a local motel, for housing, with a reported 80 people--including families--staying there until mid-February when the motel was shut down.
According to one man staying at the motel, the owner (as of late) was nice to people who struggled to pay on time. Previous owners, according to a newspaper report, were Republican legislators (State Senator Chip Rogers and Congressman Tom Graves) who took out a $2.2 mil loan to buy and refurbish the motel. They evidently turned it over to Mr. Edens who apparently ran out of money. The bank that issued the loan to Tich Hospitality, the lawmakers' partnership, is suing for repayment, according to the story. In the meantime, 80 or so people need a place to stay.
Urge Rep. Tom Graves and State Senator Chip Rogers to, um, chip in to pay for alternative housing in Calhoun for the displaced Oglethorpe guests. Furthermore, they should be at the forefront of state and federal efforts to create affordable housing options for homeless persons in Georgia and across the country.
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