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Last residents of Lansing's 'homeless hotel' move out

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More Michigan residents are seeking help at homeless shelters and warming centers this winter.

The last residents in Lansing’s homeless hotel are moving out today.

The owners of the Magnuson hotel announced in August that they were evicting more than a hundred people. The owners said they were closing the south side hotel so it could be renovated. They gave the residents two weeks to move out.

“Most of the people have some type of disability or no jobs,” says Joan Jackson Johnson, Lansing’s director of Human Relations and Human Services. 

Lansing’s mayor declared a ‘housing emergency’ to buy the residents time to find new places to live.    Jackson Johnson says the process of suddenly having to find new homes for so many people has been disruptive.

“What’s happened is the Magnuson individuals have been placed first over people who may have been waiting for a period of time because of the emergency and the urgent nature and the fact that we had no other place to put 110 people,” says Jackson Johnson.

Many of the Magnuson residents have been relocated to affordable housing units.  Others are staying at other hotels in the Lansing area.  Some have ended up in the city’s homeless shelters.

Jackson Johnson says the situation points to the need for more affordable housing in Michigan’s capitol city.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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