East Colfax Motel Hell

No room at the Inn.

The family in room 325 was one of sixteen eligible for the assistance that Icon had offered. Eleven took advantage of it. Four used their credit at a trailer park owned by Icon; two went to other Icon motels. Amy and Joshua wanted to use the Icon money as a down payment on a decent place, to buy them some stability. Not only did room 325 smell like piss, but it reeked of Raid. Amy had been trying to rid the kitchen of roaches for months. Now she mostly wanted a clean kitchen where she could cook again.

But they hadn't been able to find a place before the deadline, so Amy and Joshua moved their family to the Sands for a while.

That's where Amy Limon and her wheelchair were already living, in room 305. "What are they going to do with all of these people in the motels?" Limon asked. "I swear, I don't know what I'm going to do. That case manager, she wants to put me in those independent apartments. But those are mentally ill people where they have them all dosed up on the pills, like a nursing home. I don't deserve that."

When the Dunes shut down, Amy Limon moved up East Colfax to the Sands Motel.
Mark Manger
When the Dunes shut down, Amy Limon moved up East Colfax to the Sands Motel.
Andy Klein arranged for Icon to help longtime Dunes tenants, like the Young family, cover the cost of new housing.
Mark Manger
Andy Klein arranged for Icon to help longtime Dunes tenants, like the Young family, cover the cost of new housing.

Twice a week, Limon got out of her ramshackle room to go to a doctor's appointment or run some other errand. An assistant came by three times daily to change her diaper and give her a bath, because her wheelchair was too big to get into the motel room's bathroom. Limon asked the maintenance guy at the Sands to build her a wooden ramp like the one she'd left at the Dunes so that she could roll outside and watch the children play.

Down the street at the King's Inn, Charles and Mary no longer allowed their kids to play outside. After the drug-infested Blue Spruce shut down, a lot of its former residents wound up at the King's, and drug trafficking in the parking lot went way up.

But Charles wasn't lying when he'd told his family that their stay here was only temporary. Using the money from Icon as a deposit, he soon found a two-bedroom apartment not far from Colfax where he can smoke cigarettes on his balcony and watch his kids play.

"It's peaceful," Charles said. "Just like when we were living in Florida and had our own place. I don't have to worry about someone beating on the door at midnight wanting a cigarette; I don't have to worry about my kids playing with kids who smoke cigarettes and smoke weed at that age. It's a nice place. Now we just got to hold on to it, make it work."

After eight days at the Sands, Joshua also secured a suitable place for his family, an apartment in south Aurora. Thanks in part to Icon and CCN, the 25-year-old signed the first lease of his life. "I'm grateful for any help at all," he said. "I'm used to doing it all myself."

Icon didn't rent the room they vacated at the Sands. Empty motels are easier to evacuate.

With Amy and Joshua and their kids gone, life has gotten lonelier for Amy Limon. "I'm 65 and I'm still trying," she says. "I know there's hope for me still. I don't want to just wait to die and wait for somebody to come visit me, some nurse to come check my blood pressure every two hours or something like that, so I can't go outside without asking permission.

"When they close this place, they'll help me find somewhere else," she says hopefully. "They're not that cold. They won't throw someone out in the street."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...