RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A mother of three was displaced from her temporary home at a Richmond, Virginia, hotel while she was in the hospital for an emergency cesarean section.
When she returned home from the hospital, Nicole Thweatt found the hotel room she had been living in was emptied, and a new family had moved in. All of her belongings, including clothes and even Social Security cards, were gone. She was left unsure where to turn, just one week after delivering her newborn daughter Ni’Jae who weighed less than two pounds.
Commonwealth Catholic Charities, the nonprofit group offering the temporary housing, said if rooms are not being used, the organization moves in another family. A spokesperson said the family’s belongings had been “disposed of.” When asked why the family was displaced, the charity said it was a communication issue. It also said most people are offered housing for a fixed two-month period, and that two months was up for the family.
“With me being in the hospital, I did not know that I had to call anyone and let them know that I’m having my baby early,“ Thweatt said.
Thweatt went back to living in her car with her 11- and 7-year-old children. From the car, she spoke to Nexstar’s WRIC and pointed to a small collection of donated clothes and water bottles.
“All these little containers are breast milk storage bottles,” she said, noting she should be pumping breast milk but does not have the ability to store it.
The charity said its housing program at the hotel is not “never-ending,“ and intervention lasts for 60 days. Thweatt was there for that amount of time and said she did not know of any impending end to her housing accommodation.
When asked why they did not call Thweatt before removing her belongings, the charity said Thweatt was “no longer a client,” and she could reapply for the program.
Thweatt said she has no intention of reapplying with Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
Since sharing her story, Thweatt said she’s received an outpouring of support. She said she is speaking with several people about potential housing options.
While her baby remains in the NICU, she said she’s trying to keep the message positive for her two older children and shelter them from the severity of the situation.