UPDATE: Superior Creek Lodge residents find new home
It's been nearly five months since hundreds of families were removed from the Superior Creek Lodge in East Ridge after an inspector condemned all four buildings.Betsy Caster was one of the 1,500 people evicted from the extended-stay motel. She's been able to get back on her feet, and says her family's life is better now, too.
UPDATE: It's been nearly five months since hundreds of families were removed from the Superior Creek Lodge in East Ridge after an inspector condemned all four buildings.
Betsy Caster was one of the 1,500 people evicted from the extended-stay motel. She's been able to get back on her feet, and says her family's life is better now, too.
Caster and her two grandsons had been living at the motel for several months when it shut down without warning.
"It dawned on me that I was homeless," Caster recalled.
She said the steps up to her unit were caving in and her balcony's awning was falling down, but she could afford the price at $200/week.
After getting evicted, Caster stayed in an emergency shelter for a week. The charity East Ridge Cares 4 Kids helped her find the apartment where she is currently living.
"Actually, this is cheaper than The Creek," Caster explained. "There, we just had one big room, a living room, a kitchen, and one bath. Here, we have two bedrooms and two bathrooms."
"Everybody got a better place to stay and a cheaper place to stay," she said. "I guess The Creek closing was a blessing."
Several local organizations, including East Ridge Cares 4 Kids, still help many of the families who were displaced. Anyone interested in helping should contact Marcy Hall at (423) 316-9038.
PREVIOUS STORY: The gate at Superior Creek Lodge has been locked for over four months, but the motel may now have a future.
On Friday, it was purchased by a man who owns a property development company in Atlanta. JDH Developers' CEO, Harry Patel, would not share the selling price on the building that last sold in 2006 for $3 million.
The extended-stay motel was condemned in September, leaving some 1,500 people homeless.
East Ridge United Methodist Church served as an emergency shelter, and made it their mission to find residents a new place to live.
"We were able to find permanent housing for all those who came to us and wanted it," said Pastor Ken Sauer.
Sauer said 71 families were able to find new homes. The church was already familiar with many of them through its youth ministries that aimed to help tutor and feed some of the 100-plus children who were living at Superior Creek.
"We continue to work with them,as they continue to try and pay their monthly rent and pay for their utilities," explained Sauer.
A few of those families who sought help are still living in extended stay hotels, but Sauer believes they're in a much more stable environment.
"When the Superior Creek Lodge closed down, it was a bad deal. In hindsight, it was the best thing, I think, to have happened."
Channel 3 did see codes enforcement at the motel on Monday. Right now, no one will comment on the future plans of the property. The new owner, Patel, tells us he'll be ready to share those plans when he visits in the coming weeks.