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."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

With God, All Things Are Possible

I spoke with the manager here, who is also a limited partner in the motel. He informed me if I didn't buy the motel before April, then it would be off the market until November. This is because of the tourist season and the profit the owners make during that time. I went to SCORE and they helped me fine-tune the business plan and spoke with my banker. On the sale price, it will take $360,000.00 down for the loan. The issue of possibly buying the motel under a 1 year lease purchase is off the table because the main partner is wanting to buy a 7 million dollar motel in the DC area near the airport. With his outstanding loans from 2 other motels in Williamsburg, he can not get the loan for the motel in DC.

But, also, there is another aspect to the pressure from the owner. Two other motel owners in Williamsburg got ahold of my business plan. They have also now approach the main partner to buy. So I proposed plan B to the main partner:

The ministry leases all 22 rooms (which are the rooms in the business plan for those who are homeless and in transition) for $150.00 a week from the months of April through November 1st (31 weeks) ; BTW, in July and August, the rooms on this side goes up to $250 a week per room.

After the monies are paid to the motel, anything above that , goes to the ministry for an escrow account to build up a down payment (which will be $27,280.00)

We, the homeless, maintain all 22 rooms in regards to maintenance (many homeless are in this field and construction), housekeeping and weekly supplies (soap, towels, linen, etc.) (Holiday Inn Express gave my non-profit several sets of sheets, towels, washcloths and bath mats last year and churches who have laundry facilities have agreed to wash them once a week for us with their volunteers as well as W&M students.)

No front desk service, except for phone calls and billing of phone calls.
I will have a master key to all rooms and 3 sets of keys for each room
The motel covers the electricity, water, cable and phone
The main partner will want one month down as a deposit ($13,200.00) and 1st month to cover April ($13,200.00) on the rooms. Salvation Army is wanting to join in with this venture since they do not get weekly rates at the motel they currently use.
The main partner has already accepted this, so I am guaranteed first to buy in November when it goes on the market again

What this allows:

An estimated 6 months for fundraising, contacting investors, grants and/or the time for processing with SBA
No competition clause for purchasing the motel after the season is over
A small escrow built up for the down payment to show the community I also am investing in the purchase and not walking into the venture with nothing from myself, since this will be ran as a profit and non-profit LLC
Time to complete my LLC application and approval as "Angelic Assistance LLC
If, we could get 26 people to donate $1000.00 to the ministry, that would cover the expense. This would also mean that if a church, organization or agency had a person that needed a place to stay for a week or two or more, the first 2 weeks would be covered and then they could get on their feet with a paying job and cover themselves. This would also take the pressure off the churches and put it onto us, as God's shoulders are large enough to carry the load. I am currently doing cold calling fundraiser as we speak and putting up $500.00 (which is a lot for us at the moment.) If you can't give that amount, then give what you can and pass this along to others.

The downfall is this, we must have the $26,400.00 by April 1st. Checks can be made payable to WHI (Williamsburgs Homeless & Indigent and it is tax deductible as we are now a non-profit and listed on guidestar) and in the memo put "lease purchase for rooms. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090

Pray about it, think about it, consider it. If this small plan does not occur, 3 families with children, 4 single men, 2 single women and us will be on the streets by July.

When God does provide the motel, there will be many updates and improvments, including a facelift for the outside!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Facts Of Life

I was excitingly waiting for Thursday, the 17th, even though I knew our schedule would be hectic. It was Salvation Army’s Annual Meeting. Tickets were $40.00 a person and even though we didn’t have the money, God knew how much I wanted to go. The week before, Captain Shannon had one of the staff members call us and I my heart was flipping when she said, “The Captain wanted you to know there will be 2 complimentary tickets there for you.” Yippy! So what was so awesome about this? Lisa Whelchel was their guest speaker. For those of you who don’t know who she is, she played Blair on The Facts of Life show.

We were running a few minutes late when we pulled up to the Hospitality House. I rushed upstairs to the meeting area while Geoff parked the car. Linda and Rosemary motioned for me to join them at their table and shortly after Geoff joined us. After a short powerpoint presentation (which I have to say Cpt. Shannon is really good with this program,) lunch was served. Wow, this was a huge production! Lunch was incredible. Geoff and another man at our table had 2 plates. Then the awards were presented. One of the awards, I started tearing up because it was a well-deserved person to receive it.

Then it was time. There on the stage stood Blair…I mean Lisa. Wow, she is so laid back and down to earth when she speaks. It was just like listening to a friend talking to ya. Plus, she is really funny. Now, you have to understand this was the one show I never missed each week. And, I actually liked her character the best, even as snobby as her character was. In many ways I could relate to her. But, most importantly, I loved it when the writers finally gave her a soft, kind heart and Blair realized what the facts of life truly were. I sat on the edge of my seat as I listened to Lisa talking about her career in the past, her faith with God, her family and her new career. Actually, she has a cool website for all you mommies out there www.lisawhelchel.com .

The meeting was over and we had to hurry back because our Jeep was being towed in from Newport News. But, I patiently waited to at least say hi to Lisa and give her one of our business packages about our ministry. I gave a brief summary of what we do and she was kind enough to accept the package. Then we hurried back to the motel, waiting for our Jeep to show.

Ugh, our Jeep is so messed up! It now needs a new engine. There are metal shavings in the oil. Tim, when he stole it last year, dogged it. So now we have a vehicle we have to pay for, that we can’t drive and need a new engine. But God will find a way. I just pray they end up catching Tim so he can start paying restitution. For now, the Jeep is used for storage.

Yet, it was a great day! You take the good, you take the bad, you take ‘em both and then you have the facts of life….the facts of life!

Monday, March 21, 2005

God's Intervention

Several posts ago, I had mentioned our ex-landlords were suing us for the rent from January - March, even though we moved out at the end of December. At this point, we were on a month to month basis. I talked to WAVY about the lawsuit and they wanted to handle the situation for us during their "help 20 people in 20 days" program. I faxed them all the information, but never heard back from them. March 14th was coming up fast and we had no attorney, no direction and no money to pay the large amount for the lawsuit. But, we have God and we knew this suit was justified.

The week prior to the court date, I realized, it wasn't our ex-landlords suing, but the real estate management company that had taken over the properties for the landlords. That was odd, so we started calling to find out why? Turns out the property is now listed with another company, under a commercial lease only and the old real estate company lost the lease. So I figured it was vengeance for the money they lost.

Monday morning, the day of the court case, I had spent the morning researching the landlord/tenant law in Virginia. It was time for court, so we gathered all the information and headed out for court. I prayed the whole way over as Geoff and I discussed the potential case and facts. Our first plan was to get the case dismissed based on the fact it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction.

In the courtroom, we kept looking around, trying to figure out where the attorney was who represents the real estate company, while we waited for our case to be called. Our case was set for 1:30, yet it was after 2:00 and we still waited in prayer. Finally, at 2:45, when there was only a well dressed lady and us in the courtroom left, the bailiff came over to ask us about our case. I gave her the summons and she went to the clerk at the judge’s bench. I was a bit nervous about the look on her face as she was walking back toward us and motioned for us to step outside. But, with a smile, she whispered, “Your case was dropped by the Plaintiff. I’m sorry you had to wait.” Praise God was all I could think. God knew the case was unjust and He prevailed!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Thanks Rick!

Sometimes, when staying in a motel, minutes turn into hours and suddenly a day has become a week, so I have found. I hadn't even realized it has been almost a month since I have blogged, until I received an email from a mission friend asking if anything was wrong and even though he is 2000 miles away, he could pray for us. Although I was sick for about a week with this flu everyone here in Williamsburg is getting, I have just been busy. Busy in prayer about buying a motel, which needs to happen before April or it won't be on the market again until after tourist season, busy with speaking engagements, busy trying to get ready for the first Unified Services meeting, and busy with people who are in a transitional or homeless situation.

The latter of these has been the hardest. The whole week I was sick, all I wanted was to sleep, but each time I would start to drift off 2 of the women would be knocking at the door. For almost a week, all I heard was "She did this to me" or "She said that to me". Ugh! Is this the punishment for all the people I drove crazy as a teen and young adult? Finally I said "You two are older than I am by years. These petty arguments are just that, PETTY! Why not be more concerned about your living situation than the fact the two of you are acting like junior high girls?!" I mean, sorry, but get real. The fact that one can't stand to hear the other doing her work on her computer at night and the clicking of the keyboard keeps her awake or the other complaining about the other having to spend an hour getting ready for work is insane. My solution and/or questions to them "Put a towel over your eyes at night and cotten in your ears (as I handed a pack of cotten to her)" and to the other "If she isn't tying up the bathroom and you don't have to use it, who cares how long it takes her?" Sure both can be annoying situations, but there are bigger problems in life.

Unified Services is a co-ordination that we are trying to get off the ground. Our first meeting is March 15th. It's goal is to unify the different services, organizations, agencies and concerned citizens as a group to create a larger 'net' to catch people before or as they fall through the cracks here in Greater Williamsburg. Also, to bridge the gap between those who offer help and those who are in need, in order to assess an easier solution to a small but growing problem in our area. Thus far, we have over 40 RSVP's from people who want to come and check it out.

The motel, I don't talk much about because the business plan is in the making and I don't want people fighting me once again. It was a wise choice and agreement of a 'legal solution' that I discussed with zoning and Sen. Norment. The only difference between housing homeless in the wrong zoning area and the motel is that I would become a business owner and the county would receive their tax money.

The puppies are now a little over 6 weeks and will soon be going to their home in a couple of weeks. Dida has now weened them. They run from side to side barking and chasing each other. Shocking enough, I just now have been able to get pictures of them.