Shana Cartwright has been a calling the Rodeway Inn on State Road 84 home for the past two months.

Before that she had lived behind a McDonald’s and near the downtown public library in Fort Lauderdale, as a member of the city’s homeless population.

In May, in an effort to try stopping the spread of the new coronavirus, the city put up 72 people without homes in the Rodeway in Dania Beach and another area hotel. At the time, city leaders said it was inhumane for people to live on streets as a pandemic was gripping the world. But now as South Florida has become the epicenter of the disease, Fort Lauderdale is saying it is time for the homeless to leave the accommodations. The program has cost $530,000.

“I was so relieved being off the street,” Cartwright said. She said he felt like she mattered. Not so any more.

Cartwright was told Friday she had to leave the hotel and that she could go to the Salvation Army. She refused to go there saying it would bring back bad memories. She said the city is giving her one more night at the hotel, but that’s it.

“They are going back on their their word,” she said.

Cartwright cried as she ticked off a list of medical conditions including that she is pregnant. On Sunday, Cartwright turns 48.

“If they cant get me a place I’m back on the streets,” she said.

She said she saw about a dozen people leave the hotel Friday for other shelters.

Jeff Weinberger, the founder of October 22nd Alliance to End Homelessness said he feels like he and others have been misled by the city.

“And now were are at the zero hour and obviously the city hasn’t kept its promise,” he said.

Weinberger said by Sunday the last of the homeless are expected to have left the Rodeway Inn.

Eileen Kelley can be reached at 772-925-9193 or [email protected]. Follow in Twitter @reporterkell


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