For many, hotel is only home they have

The final day of the Mosley Motel brought final evictions.  Officials say up to 400 people once lived in the run-down motel.

I visited a family of five living in a room here in 2011. "The girls have one bed, our mom has one, and me and my husband sleep on the floor," Susan Gensheimer told me.

Even as the Mosley closes, many live at similar motels on this same strip of 34th Street. Is it cheap?

"It's supposed to be $920 a month. Now I'm paying $1,300 and something. It takes every nickel out of my pocket," says Plinnie McNelly, who says he's disabled after spending 22 years in the Marines.

The rent keeps many of these motel residents trapped. They either can't find or don't want to find an alternative. It's often because they have an eviction on their record and landlords don't want to rent to them.

Apartments usually require deposits they don't have. And if they have a drinking or drugging problem, there's plenty to be found at motels like this.

The Mosley is to be knocked down and the land redeveloped. The sheriff says that's a good thing.

"The conditions here are not good," Sheriff Bob Gualtieri offered.

He says most were taken to shelters or subsidized housing, but McNelly says he'll continue to live in a motel.

"It beats being homeless," he added. 

Hundreds of pets were also taken from the Mosley.  The sheriff says Pinellas Animal Services will keep them for a week, free of charge.