Families in emergency housing at Motel 6 in Gates being asked to leave

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Families who’ve been calling The Motel 6 in Gates home for the past few weeks or months, are now being told their contracts are not being renewed and they need to get out.  Some of the impacted folks are fleeing domestic violence, others escaped street violence, and some are trying to pull themselves and their children out of poverty. 

The Monroe County Department of Social Services has been paying for the families to live in emergency housing at the motel along Chili Avenue in Gates. 

Selena Vega has been living at the Motel 6 with her young daughter for the past few weeks.

“I thought I was going to be able to stay for at least a month because that’s what the social worker has told me that I work with,” she tells News10NBC but she’s now learned she has to be out by Tuesday. “I have nothing else I can do, I have no money, I have no job, I have one kid. I’m in a situation where there’s nothing I can do, and if I go and find a job, where am I going to leave my kid,” she said nearly in tears. 

Miesha and her family moved into the motel earlier this month, she admits the conditions aren’t great but, “It’s a roof over our heads,” she says.  Except, they can’t stay. Her family of five has to be out of the motel today. “Where the hell are me and my family going to go because I don’t have family that I can stay with,” she says.

“The Department of Health came in and said, “Hey, you gotta clean up this hotel, you gotta make repairs, you gotta yada, yada, yada… so the hotel is doing that,” explains Oscar Brewer who also lives there. “But, you can’t work on the rooms while you got families living in that room.”

A spokesman for Monroe County tells News10NBC the county has had issues with the Motel 6 that it has attempted to address in the past. Specifically, there are ongoing concerns about the sanitary conditions.  News10NBC requested copies of health inspection records and data from that location, we’re still waiting to hear back. 

Monroe County says it will no longer be placing clients in the facility, and it’s in the process of relocating the 12 remaining families to safe and appropriate housing, which it believes it can do by the end of this week. 

A Monroe County DSS worker was on-site Monday to try and help.

“Some of the properties that they gave us here, some of them got violations and all that stuff too, so I’m back at square one,” Miesha says. “I have no idea where we’re going to stay tonight…I spoke to emergency housing and they’re going to put me on a call log and see if they got room at the shelters, but they said right now it’s too full so I don’t know where we’re going to go from here.”

Vega also doesn’t know where she will go with her daughter.

“They’re in there and they say, “Oh, there’s nothing that we can do, we’re going to try and see if we can get you permanent housing, but they’re not helping us look for houses, they’re not giving us houses, we’re on our own,” she says.

Typically, according to the county, hotels are used on an emergency basis when shelter space is not available. When asked whether the families could stay until other emergency housing accommodations could be made, the county said no person will be left without an option for safe and appropriate housing.