Sacramento, CA

Watchmen security and Motel 6 employee try kicking out young homeless family

Robert J Hansen

Could have jeopardized couple’s nearly resolved CPS case
Motel employee and Watchmen Security guard at Motel 6 on Elise Avenue in Sacramento on Friday, August 27, 2021.Robert J Hansen

A Watchman security guard and Motel 6 staff nearly kicked out a Sacramento couple claiming the husband was not on the registrar.

A video of the event can be found on YouTube.

Unhoused residents Justin and Shannon Jones have lived at the Motel 6 on Elise for several months, paid for by the City of Sacramento while resolving a Child Protective Services (CPS) case.

“I was walking up the stairs with my cigarette, and he wanted to make that a thing when everyone smokes on the balcony,” Shannon said. “No one has ever had a problem with us here.”

The security guard told the couple only one adult was listed in the room after he pounded on the door and told them they had to leave, according to Justin.

“He banged on the door like a cop,” Justin said.

Watchmen security routinely harasses and kicks out unhoused people who have their rooms paid for by the County, according to Crystal Sanchez, president of the Sacramento Homeless Union.

“They continuously do this on Friday nights, in the middle of the night when we are unable to reach the Department of Community Response (DCR) or the City,” Sanchez said.

DCR runs the program for the City with money from the County's Project Roomkey program.

The County recently extended project roomkey through November, adding $5.3 million to the program.

The couple has been doing their program and just got their clearance for her kids to come home, according to Sanchez.

“They are in the process of moving to Jackson but have to do three more weeks of visits to reunify,” Sanchez said.

Shannon and Justine currently get one overnight visit with their children this week, according to the couple’s caseworker.

“You guys are doing a good job,” their case worker said. “Just keep up the good work and focus on getting your case plan services completed.”
Shannon Jones and her children (left) and Shannon with her a certificate of programs from CPS.Courtesy of Shannon Jones

“The security guards abuse the unhoused and have even been caught on camera assaulting one of our outreach workers who found someone on the ground having a seizure and was trying to help,” Sanchez said.

The motel employee, who would not give her name, said the security guard was only doing his job and that a different employee from earlier in the day listed only one name on the room.

“I explained to you how that happens,” the employee said.

Shannon and Justin said they have been in the same room for over a month.

When asked for the manager’s contact information, the employee said she is on vacation then told this reporter to leave the property.

“You don’t have a room here? Then it would be best if you left the premises,” the employee said.

Shannon feels she has more rights while living on the streets.

She said security does room checks once a week and they throw people out if their rooms are not clean.

“I just say to myself, two more weeks, two more weeks and I'm home,” Shannon said.

Sanchez hopes to have a follow up on the situations surrounding Motel 6 and Watchmen Security which is verbally and physically assaulting people.

“We want what is best for our unhoused folks and for people to be treated equally,” Sanchez said.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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