DENVER – Ragen Atkinson, Eddie Walker and their two children are homeless after an argument with the managers of Motel 9 in Colfax over the electricity in their room which had been out for almost a week.
After more than three months at the motel, they are now homeless.
âI’m still angry, still upset,â said Eddie Walker, who is now looking for a new place to live. “You can’t win here.”
Walker and Atkinson moved to Colorado from South Carolina over the summer for a better life. In search of affordable accommodation, they found Motel 9 which charged them $ 450 per week to stay.
âI actually moved here for a better life, but here we go,â Walker said. “I don’t get what I pay for.”
The power was cut on November 24. Walker was at work at the Denver International Airport when Atkinson called him.
âMy wife called me. She says the lights are flashing. Thirty minutes later the lights are off,â Walker said. “No one ever fixed it.”
The family was forced to siphon electricity from an adjoining room to run the air conditioning. Everything else was in the dark. The management of Motel 9 sent several electricians, but the power was never restored.
On Tuesday after the story aired, the family left Motel 9 due to a dispute with managers over power and the story.
âThey came, and they basically said, ‘either you have the money or you have to go,'” Walker said. “So we left.”
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Now, with just the clothes on their back, they’re trying to find a new home. They have found a new hotel for the night, but they fear that tomorrow the cycle will start again.
“It’s like we’re still stuck. We paid for [a new] room, “Walker said.” But what about 10 am to check out time? Then we had to figure it all out again. “
Advocates for the East Colfax Community Collective say this problem continues to persist as vulnerable families struggle to find stable housing in Denver and Aurora.
âThey are literally running out of options,â said Kelsey Clark, director of special projects at the East Colfax Community Collective. “We need to fight for better and bolder policies that protect members of our community, especially tenants.”
To help Atkinson and Walker get back on their feet, a fund has been established through Denver7 Gives. Anyone wishing to help can Click here and select âHelp for the Atkinson Familyâ from the drop-down menu.
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