Mosley Motel residents getting help moving to safer housing

Residents need to leave by Sept. 16
Posted at 3:05 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 11:47:21-04
More than a hundred St. Petersburg families living in the Mosley Motel are finally getting help getting placed into more permanent, safer housing.
Most have been terrified they would wind up on the streets.
Joni Staggs has been here in the Mosley Motel for three years with her six pets in one room. She's had to spray for roaches herself.
"Because this is such an old place, they're in the walls," she said.
She's known for the last few months that soon, she'd need to go.
"We knew it was imminent, it was coming," She said.
The fate of the Mosley Motel has been up in the air for years. It's been accused of being a breeding ground for drugs and criminal activities. The City of St. Pete also says there's numerous code violations, making it unsafe for the 110 families living there.
"We don't want to see anybody get evicted with no where to go," said Cliff Smith, City of St. Petersburg Social Services Manager. 
Now, a new company, Altis Cardinal Storage LLC, owns the property. They don't plan on using this as a motel, but know they can't just turn these families out on the street.  However, there's one big problem.
"Affordable housing is in scarce supply," Smith said. "It's a 110 room unit and every one so far needs help finding a place to live."
The city's put out a plea to local landlords and agencies like Catholic Charities and the Pinellas County School District are stepping in to find residents safer, permanent housing.
For Staggs, this is a life saving relief.
"This was the catalyst that was needed to get the help that we needed to get out," she said.
Walking back to her room after talking to several different agencies, she's armed with information about getting help paying for a deposit on a new apartment. She said soon, she knows she will be somewhere more permanent.
The deadline for everyone to be out of the Mosley Motel is September 16.