By Angela Musallam

WOODLAND (CBS13) — The city is getting ready to demolish the Budget Inn on Main Street, and replace it with a five-story Hilton hotel.

It’s right next to Freeman Park, a popular hangout for the homeless. The city says once demolition begins, the park will be shut down.

“Why don’t they tear down the building and put a hotel? They can fence that off, they don’t need to take the park away from us,” said Robert Miller.

Miller is a Yolo County native and Freeman Park resident. He says he’s angry the city would shut him out of his home.

“Where is our help?” asked another homeless woman.

Freeman Park is a hot spot for homeless people, who say they have nowhere else to go. In June, they’ll be forced to find someplace else to hang out.

“This hotel project we think would be a great addition, and compliments all the work we are doing for renewed interest in the downtown,” said Woodland City Manager, Paul Navazio.

A five-story Hilton hotel is replacing the Budget Inn on Main Street. The new hotel would extend into Freeman Park, and would also knock down the toy library, a parking lot and public restroom.

The city says it plans to shut the park down, as soon as its demolition permit is approved.

So, where will the homeless go?

“The homeless population at Freeman Park is being accounted for in a holistic way,” Navazio says.

He says while the city doesn’t have a concrete plan for the homeless, it’s working to establish a temporary shelter.

Business owners including Don Sharp, say fencing the park off isn’t going to deter the homeless.

“They have been going over the fence between our parking lot and park for years,” Sharp said.

Sharp says the city needs to focus on permanent housing for the homeless, not just to clean up the streets, but to get them help.

Miller has another plan, in the meantime.

“Everybody is gonna end up going to Beamer Street Park.”

The park could remain shut down for the next year.

CBS13 reached out to Woodland police Thursday, no one was available to comment on whether the department has a plan for the homeless, once the park shuts down.


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