Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Friday, November 26, 2004

York County shelter closes on eve of Thanksgiving

08:40 PM EST on Thursday, November 25, 2004


For the second time this week a homeless people have been forced to move out of a shelter that's been helping them with a warm meal and a roof over their heads.

A shelter in York County closed Wednesday because it did not have the proper permits to operate. Earlier this week, the people who run a Suffolk shelter kicked 18 people out because of a number of issues.

"It's better than a jail cell, if you're going to be arrested for being homeless," said Pattie McKenzie, of the shelter she used to operate. "It is less than a motel."

Over a dozen people were put out, including Stephen Kokser.

"It's upsetting to know that the day before Thanksgiving this can happen," he said.

The closure didn't stop the McKenzie and her church from making the holiday special. They made over 100 Thanksgiving meals, packed them up and brought them to the families affected by the shelter's closing.

York County officials do not deny McKenzie was doing a good deed operating the shelter, but they said the building was not safe.

In other news, the 18 men, women and children staying at the Suffolk Shelter for the Homeless are staying in a hotel for the next several days. The shelter evicted them Tuesday night.

Officials said they were kicked out because residents weren't doing their part to get back on their feet. They said they told residents ahead of time that the shelter would be closing for the holiday weekend.

The city is working to find new shelters for the displaced people.


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