The Least of These Ministry set to start new housing model by beginning of 2024

ROANOKE, Va. – One Roanoke group is working on a solution to turn a former motel into a new housing model.

The Least of These Ministry plans to turn the rooms at the old Apple Valley Motel into housing for approximately 30 people experiencing homelessness.

“The community has supported us generally over the years,” the founder of The Least of These Ministry, Dawn Sandoval said. “We’re trusting that they’re going to do that this time as well.”

The rooms will be available to people who are on a fixed income or have jobs that just don’t pay them enough to afford housing on their own. Tenants will pay based on their income, and private donations will cover the rest.

Sandoval said people can stay for a day, a week, or however long they need to.

“I think it doesn’t take a lot to look around and figure out that there’s a lot of housing shortages, shelter shortage, affordability issues,” Sandoval said.

According to Blue Ridge Continuum of Care’s last estimate, there are about 330 people experiencing homelessness in the Roanoke region.

Neighbor Mike Montgomery said he was originally worried to learn about people who may be moving next door but is feeling optimistic now after speaking with Sandoval.

“She’s not going to put up with any drugs or violence or any kind of bad behavior is what she’s reassured me,” Montgomery said. “Yeah, I feel better about it.”

Sandoval plans to launch the new housing by January 2024.

“We are trying to take something that’s been dormant and unused and revitalize it and use it for a purpose that’s going to positively impact the lives of many people,” Sandoval said.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.