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      Hotel closing has people searching for new homes

      The closing of a Columbia hotel has many families wondering where they will go next.

      Itâ??s the same hotel where police found the body of teenage girl earlier this month.

      Gordon Acton, 57, is just one of dozens of people looking for a new home after the owners of Providence Suites announced they were closing their hotel.

      Acton said, â??I had a stroke about 3 years ago. Iâ??m trying to learn to walk again. Itâ??s one of the hardest things that Iâ??ve ever had to endure.â??

      In his youth, Acton was convicted of a felony for selling cocaine. Today, the conviction still haunts him. His criminal record makes it hard to rent property. Acton said he was robbed twice at Providence Suites. He said heâ??s seen several crimes and heard gunshots near his room. Police are investigating the homicide of Morgan Myers, 16, who was found dead in one of the rooms on April 3. Authorities are waiting for autopsy results for a cause of death. Managers announced the closing of the hotel 4 days later. Many of the people on the edge of homelessness are single mothers with children. Acton plans to move into a cheaper room in Boonville. He canâ??t find another place in Columbia.

      Acton said, â??Iâ??ve called all of the shelters, all of the homes here in Columbia, Craigâ??s List, they all said no. Itâ??s very depressing. I just had to make a decision. I was about ready to cry.â??

      Tenants said many of their neighbors live there because they have criminal records and bad credit. Many of the tenants have no definite plans and hope to stay with family members or friends when the hotel closes on May 1.

      The hotel offered 60 units with the average rent of about $600 a month.