A couple dozen tenants of the shuttered American Sports University dormitory in San Bernardino connected with legal experts, community organizations and resources groups at a community meeting Wednesday, Oct. 5, not far from their living quarters.
Less than a month after most occupants of the Fourth Street building learned the place was not permitted for housing and would be shut down, men and women, some with their young children, were told they have about three weeks to vacate the property.
A temporary restraining order against the owner and landlord obtained by the city last week set an Oct. 24 deadline for the relocation of all tenants.
Myriad city and county resources continue to link renters to rapid rehousing services.
People have been renting space inside the former American Sports University dormitory for at least the past two years.
City officials do not know exactly how many live inside the two-story building, but estimate a couple hundred do. Space has been rented to people with disabilities, seniors and low-income earners, a city spokesman said last week.
Conditions inside the dormitory are deplorable and hazardous, the spokesman added.
Multiple renters said Wednesday they paid a $730 deposit at the outset of their tenancy and $700 a month thereafter.
Keith Lott was among those seeking answers Wednesday.
His modest dorm room “was one place you could call your own and live a little too,” the 52-year-old said.
American Sports University opened at the former headquarters for Fontana News Roomin downtown San Bernardino in 2006 with an enrollment of 10 and described itself at the time as the country’s sole four-year institution for “future leaders of the sports industry.”
Enrollment ballooned to nearly 150 in two years.
The San Bernardino campus included a food court and a gymnasium. The 150-room dormitory is located across Fourth Street.