MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Bartlett House site on University Ave., a charitable shelter for the homeless, has been closed for some time after the roof suffered significant damage from extreme weather.
Old Ramada Inn
“That caused it to crack and break away,” said Keri DeMasi, executive director. “And essentially we had 31 holes in the roof that poured significant amounts of water into the property.”
DeMasi said Bartlett House then rounded up all 28 customers who were staying at the downtown animal shelter with their mattresses in tow and brought them to its other location on West Run Road.
So far the holes in the rubber roof have been patched, but there are no plans to move to the University Ave. to return. Instead, it should move to the old Ramada Inn when it’s ready.
The old Ramada Inn, just off Scott Ave., is being converted into a social services area where nonprofits like Bartlett can work. Bartlett, for example, will be just over 14,000 square feet, DeMasi said.
Our goal at this point is to move this property. We are very excited about the opportunity to be part of the new project, the old Ramada Inn. And worked closely with Mon Health System and the Morgantown Community Resource Group to move into this property. It’s a brand new property that allows us to have a little more capacity in our shelter. But it also gives us the opportunity to offer additional rental units that we have on the upper, third and fourth floors of this property.
Keri DeMasi – General Manager, Bartlett Housing Solutions
The lot on University Ave. was built more than 30 years ago and should never accommodate as many customers as it currently does. Because of this, DeMasi said the most prudent step will be to wait for the space at the Ramada Inn to be ready.
Until then, customers will stay with Bartlett in West Run. In addition, it is supported by Sabra United Methodist and others who operate overflow protection rooms. On nights of extreme weather, the church opens its doors to customers Bartlett cannot accommodate.
“I find it remarkable,” said DeMasi. “I think it’s a testament to the community we live in that people come together and support one another in times of need. I think Morgantown has always been that community, but I think we’ve really seen it for the past 12-14 months as this whole country and world has gone through unprecedented times. “
Bartlett’s West Run location
If you are homeless, need help with finding accommodation or a place to stay, DeMasi recommends calling the nationwide coordination line.
“The coordinated entry phone number is if you are homeless and need shelter 833-722-2014. ”