Families who have been living at two Gatlinburg extended-stay hotels were forced from their homes Monday.
The Creekside Inn and Ski View Motels officially evicted everyone from the properties Monday morning.
“We definitely need help and a place to go,” Tanya Pratt said. “Us little people, we work in this town, we clean these toilets and rooms, we wait these tables, we work these jobs and we’re treated like this? Just like an outcast, like we’re dirt? I just think it’s very shameful.”
This comes just weeks after renters were given a one-day notice that their power would be cut off. After that, several charitable organizations stepped in to temporarily restore electricity for 10 days while tenants looked for alternative housing options.
Electricity was shut off permanently at around noon Monday and the properties are no longer in service.
A number of people rely on these extended-stay properties for affordable housing in Sevier County, a place known for tourism and an area without a homeless shelter.
“I’m a little angry. Definitely a little angry. Not only angry but hurt,” said Jesse Canada, a displaced resident. “We paid $350 for rent and two days later they shut the lights off, and we were all sitting there like what’s going on?”
The abrupt closure left some residents wondering where to turn.
“[I’m] nervous, because I don’t know what we’re going to do after this,” Ryan Croston, displaced resident, said.
With few options available and so little time, those evicted are calling on the community to come together and lend a helping hand during this difficult time.
“Everyone’s just heartbroken,” Pratt said. “We desperately need help and a place to go.”
The city of Gatlinburg released a statement shortly after the closures, writing: “We are grateful to the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless and other area ministries that are on site today to help a few remaining residents relocate.”