Transportation operators have long been enmeshed in fabric of their communities, and are often silent heroes that help shuttle residents away from dangerous situations like hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes—but also smaller, localized emergencies.
Tonight, more than 200 individuals will enjoy a safe, clean, and comfortable place to lay their head after facing inhumane living conditions in their “tent city,” a homeless encampment in the North Carolina city of Charlotte. Last week, Charlotte-based Peak Limousine came to the rescue by partnering with local officials to move those residents. Faced with COVID as well as bone-chilling temperatures, a rodent infestation was the final straw for the county of Mecklenburg to issue an order to clear the encampment so it could be cleaned.
Peak President & CEO Shawn Glasgow donated three minibuses and several drivers to help transport the residents—and all their belongings—to temporary shelters and hotels that the county has secured for them, with the intent of connecting the homeless individuals with a more permanent housing situation. COVID testing (all residents were negative), meals, counseling, and laundry services were also provided.
It was Mohammad Jenatian, president of the Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance (HTA), who reached out to Glasgow after infighting between the city and county on how to move the residents ended in a stalemate. Traditional and public transportation options, including the Charlotte Area Transit Services, were unable to accommodate the move.
The catch? It had to happen in mere hours, after most of the original three-day deadline was squandered by finger-pointing between governmental agencies. Eh, that’s no sweat for our industry.
"When an opportunity to help our community falls within our wheelhouse, we take pride in being able to give back,” said Glasgow. “The homeless are human and have feelings like the rest of us. We handled them with care, and they were truly grateful and shared respect for us being there.”
Jenatian also expressed his gratitude to Glasgow after the successful move: “I want to thank you for taking this matter into your own hands and personally showing up at the site to coordinate the transportation of these individuals. I am grateful for your help and I am letting the HTA’s Board Members and community leaders know about Peak Limo and you doing your part to make a positive difference in our community,” he wrote.
Visit peaklimo.com for more information.