A woman who offered to buy a room for a “street” person during sub-zero temperatures in Oliver is upset by the response she got from a local motel.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she observed a homeless lady with a shopping cart out in the cold, so she called around to see if any motels would allow her to buy the lady a room for the night.
A clerk at one motel told her the situation likely wouldn’t be allowed. However, he said he would ask his boss, and later confirmed that this practice was not permitted.
The woman said she was told if she rented a room she would have to stay in it.
“They gave me every excuse, but it boiled down to they will not allow a street person to go in there . . . (that is) wrong.”
The complainant said if a woman in Chicago can put 70 rooms on an American Express card to help the homeless, it should be allowed here.
“They didn’t vet those 70 people, they took those 70 people off the street and put them in that hotel.”
The woman said Oliver seems to collectively take care of its own, but yet the motel won’t take care of one street person.
“I was in tears, and I went to bed that way and woke up that way.”
So she filled a sleeping bag with a bunch of clothing and other articles to keep the lady warm. But she apparently didn’t need it because she already has a warm sleeping bag and winter boots.
“I came back this morning and I’m looking for her, and she doesn’t look good. So what’s going to happen tonight and tomorrow night?”
The woman said there’s a stigma attached to people living on the street.
“This isn’t about the situation, this is about the individual and this is about the elements.”
She said motel management could have agreed to meet the lady before making a decision.
“It’s just total detachment. Ya, buddy, what if that was you? Put the shoe on your foot.”
But a representative of the motel told the Chronicle that his staff handled the situation based on their policy.
It states that third party payment is generally not permitted. The motel only accepts a guest with a credit card with enough funds to cover any room damage.
“Even if a third party wants to pay for a guest and we decide to allow it, the third party has to become either a guest or complete the credit card authorization form.”
This form will ensure that the third party will be responsible for the payments, damage or wrongdoing of a guest.
“Our staff told me that the third party (the woman who called in this case) did not hear our explanation until the end and hung up the phone,” said the representative.
“You may not believe this but many hotels and motels have this type of policy all over the world and we know why,” he noted.