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Some homeless individuals refuse to leave Independence hotel that served as temporary shelter

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 8:36 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - No one ever wants to be homeless, but unfortunately for many people, there’s no other option.

“We’re just trying to find somewhere to stay so that we can get somewhere to stay permanently,” said Ronald Freeman.

Freeman is one of the many men going to great lengths to avoid being back out on the streets.

He’s been staying at the Ramada Inn Hotel on Rockside Road in Independence for three months.

He and around 100 other men were allowed to stay there after it was turned into an emergency shelter because of the pandemic.

“We appreciate the hospitality of the city, we appreciate the hospitality of the people here,” said Freeman.

Freeman says he knew the situation at the Ramada was temporary.

He and the others staying there thought they had until Aug. 31 to find somewhere to go.

Suddenly, the rug was pulled out from under them.

The men are getting kicked out before that deadline.

“They said we were leaving. It felt depressing,” said Freeman.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is responsible for this temporary shelter.

LMM put out a statement, essentially saying that the Ramada has served its purpose and the men will be relocated to a homeless shelter in Cleveland, which has been modified to meet COVID safety protocols.

The men were told they had to leave the hotel on Thursday, but they say they aren’t going anywhere.

At a press conference put together by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Freeman and other guests say they don’t feel comfortable going from individual rooms to congregate living.

“The pandemic remains a serious risk for people experiencing homelessness and a long road to recovery is just the beginning,” Freeman added.

A lawyer who represents the owner of the Ramada Inn says they are welcome to stay until that Aug. 31 deadline.

Freeman and other guests are hoping LMM listens to their rally cry and lets them stay.

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