After Refusing A Room On Christmas Night, Hotel Decides Homeless Group Can Stay There For Free



A Delaware hotel that caught heat yesterday after reports that it had canceled room reservation booked for a group of homeless people on Christmas night, the hotel has now apologized and reversed course, saying that it will provide lodging for the group through the weekend.

WDEL reported first that the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE refused a room meant for a group of homeless to stay in on Dec. 25, saying that the co-founder of Road to Redemption Ministries who’d booked the reservation had said the people didn’t have IDs.

As such, a DuPont representative told The News Journal that the reservation was declined under standard hospitality operating practice of requiring photo identification at check-in.

“Our primary concern is for the safety of all of our guests,” he said.

The couple who arranged the room said the group did have IDs, and that the call to cancel came three hours before the group was supposed to arrive.

“They were blown away,” the woman said of breaking the news to the intended guests. “One woman, she cried.”

Yesterday amid the controversy, the general manager of the Hilton Wilmington Christiana offered up 10 free rooms last night for homeless people.

The hotel has now apologized, saying it will provide a room for six people Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, saying in a statement to WDEL:

“We apologize for the misunderstanding regarding a hotel reservation under [the ministry group co-founder’s] name, which was cancelled on December 25, 2014. Respect for People is a core value of the Hotel. That extends to everyone, including the homeless. Like all major hotels, we have a policy of requiring IDs from guests, and our employees followed that policy. We have invited the [ministry group co-founder’s] guests to the Hotel, as early as this weekend. If the guests do not have IDs, we will work with them to address that.”

The couple has mixed feelings about the turnaround, but when it comes down to it, they’re glad the group will get to stay in the hotel, regardless of why.

“I wish I could say a heart change or a condition change, but it was probably from the outpour of the community,” he told WDEL. “People just reaching out from all over the country saying, ‘Hey, look, this needs to be fixed, this needs to be righted.’ The hotel has offered the entire weekend, three or four rooms, and anything the need. No matter what their motives may be, that’s not the point. The point is we’re going to get people off the street. This is the coldest few days that we’ve had and I think it’s perfect timing.”

Delaware’s Hotel du Pont will house homeless for weekend [WDEL]
Hotel du Pont apologizes, welcomes homeless guests [The News Journal]

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