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Feb 25, 21

Durham, NC: Phone Zap for Residents at “COVID Motel”

Call for phone-zap for Durham, NC hotel residents who are being threatened by COVID-19.

Last summer, the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) opened a program to quarantine people being released from NC state prisons, at the Durham Quality Inn on Hillsborough Rd. A Peer Support firm called Locked Up to Living Life, Inc. was brought on to provide support services and supplies to the residents. Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA) became a partner and fiscal sponsor of Locked Up to Living Life, Inc. with DCIA Director Rev. Spencer Bradford as an advisor.

People brought to the quarantine hotel after completing their sentences have been living a nightmare. Many aren’t getting the social services they need to make plans and get resources to leave the hotel. They haven’t been given phones they were promised, so they have no access to apply for benefits. Many have only one set of clothes. Because of these conditions, hotel residents relied on family and friends to bring them needed items, until December 2020, when items brought from outside were barred from the Covid Hotel, due to a DPS “rule change”.

On the evening of February 20, a hotel resident, returning to his room from picking up a phone that was purchased for him, was confronted by a Locked Up to Living Life Inc. Peer Counselor, who confiscated the phone. The phone had the resident’s name on it, and is his property. According to the resident, and a witness, the name of the Peer Counselor who took the phone is Fred. The resident asked the Peer Counselor many times to return his phone. Instead, the Peer Counselor told the resident that he would have to leave the hotel in three days. Fred’s actions were unprofessional and abusive, and he should not be employed as a Peer Counselor by Locked up to Living Life Inc. We are demanding that Fred be fired. Rev. Spencer Bradford is a person with power in this situation, as fiscal agent and advisor for Locked Up to Living Life Inc., so Phone Zap calls are being made to him.

WHO TO CALL:

Rev. Spencer W. Bradford

Executive Director

Durham Congregations In Action

919.688.2036

Repeat calls are welcome, and please ask your friends and family members to call.

WHEN TO CALL:

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

WHAT TO SAY:

“Hi, my name is [NAME], and I am calling about the actions of an employee of the Peer Counseling firm Locked up to Living Life, Inc. at the NCDPS “COVID hotel” at the Quality Inn on Hillsborough Rd. in Durham. I’m aware that DCIA is a partner and fiscal agent for this peer counseling agency. You have power in this situation, as Director of DCIA, and an advisor to Locked Up to Living Life Inc.

Many residents forced to live at the hotel have not been getting the resources, services and supplies they need, and that were promised them by their peer counselors. On the evening of February 20th, a hotel resident was headed to his room with a phone labelled with his name on it. A Peer Counselor named Fred, from Locked up to Living Life, Inc. took it upon himself to confiscate the resident’s phone and some other property. Fred later told the resident that he would have 3 days to leave the facility. This action of taking a phone that clearly belongs to someone who needs it for his health and well-being, is an act of theft and abuse. The action of retaliating against the resident for possessing items that are not being provided by the program Peer Counselors, as promised, is inhumane. I am calling to demand that Peer Counselor Fred, of Locked up to Living Life, Inc., be fired. “

Read more about the Covid Hotel, in the Indy Week and News and Observer:

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article248608715.html

https://indyweek.com/news/durham/covid-prisoner-motel-protest/

https://indyweek.com/news/northcarolina/durham-inmates-covid-hotel/

photo: Louis Hansel  on Unsplash

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