May 8, 2011 4:44 PM by Matt Stafford

Express Inn residents say they've been told to leave

Several residents of the Express Inn, on the corner of Cimarron and 8th Street in Colorado Springs, say the hotel is closing down. Many of the residents, who are now packing up and leaving, were previously homeless and now have no place to go.

Back in March News First 5 learned that the property was entering foreclosure. Current residents and employees say the foreclosure couldn't be stopped.

The CC Boarding Home has been operating an annex out of the Express Inn since 2008. They've been working to help the homeless transition off the streets by giving them affordable and flexible housing. Now that won't be offered, and signs on the front door of the hotel say, "closed for good."

In March, employees of the CC Boarding Home told News First 5 that if the facility were to shut down, Colorado Springs could instantly see 100 to 150 homeless people on the streets.

Local homeless advocate Bob Holmes acknowledges that the Express Inn was a big help when camping along the creeks reached such a high point in the winter of 2009. Holmes' group, Homeward Pikes Peak, received a grant from the El Pomar Foundation to use at the Express Inn, giving the campers a place to stay. Holmes says the Express Inn closing will have an impact on local services, but he doesn't think it will cause a new wave of campers.

Sunday evening on News First 5 we'll talk about the impact the hotel's closing could have, and the possibility of new plans in the works for that property.



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