Bel Aire Motel to provide emergency shelter through agreement with Two Rivers Regional Council

Bel Aire Motel

The Bel Aire Motel, 2314 N. 12th, will be offering emergency shelter through a partnership with the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials. | David Adam

QUINCY — The Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials reached an agreement last week with the Bel Aire Motel, 2314 N. 12th, to provide emergency shelter.

The TRRC previously provided vouchers to stay at the Welcome Inn, 200 Maine, to people needing emergency shelter. However, city officials shut down the Welcome Inn on July 27 after an assessment by a Hannibal engineering firm discovered finding 288 structural issues. About 300 people were living in the motel when it was closed.

That decision, coupled with the fact it already had run out of funding assistance by July, left the TRRC with nowhere to send people in need. 

“I know some people were put in temporary housing,” said Mark Schneider, marketing coordinator for the TRRC. “Some people found housing with family. Some people left town and just moved on. But we haven’t had any options (for the people displaced from the Welcome Inn) as far as TRRC is concerned. 

“This is the first time (since then) we’ve had any kind of option for people to find temporary assistance. Until this point, we’ve been mainly just turning people away, saying unfortunately we don’t have a place that’s going to work with us. We’re very thankful for the Bel Aire that they’re willing to work with us.”

The Bel Aire is owned by Gokul of Illinois, Inc. Records from the Secretary of State’s office shows the corporation is owned by Gaurang N. Ahivasi of Carol Stream.

People in need of emergency shelter can receive assistance at the TRRC office, 706 Maine, or call 217-224-8171. The program is available in Adams, Brown, Pike and Schuyler counties. 

Adams County clients must have a referral from the Salvation Army. Participants are required to do job searches each week and take part in weekly job clubs with the goal to transition into permanent housing. 

“It’s based on a client-by-client basis,” Schneider said. “This is not something where we’re just going to hand somebody a voucher, they show up and they get a room. They actually have to go through a process, but TRRC will help them through that process. If the client can follow the rules of the hotel and keep things clean and stuff like that, then we’ll work with them to get some temporary shelter for them there.”

Schneider said the initial voucher to help a client in need of emergency housing typically is for seven days.

“Hopefully, that gives them time to get something for themselves going,” he said. “If they need additional time, as long as they’re following the rules, we can work with them.”

The Department of Human Services provides funding.

Schneider said the TRRC received $45,000 in funding in 2021 and helped 60 clients. The agency also has $45,000 in funding for 2022.

The TRRC provides services to low-income people in the four-county area while offering community development and planning assistance to units of local government.

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