KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A family of six moved to Kansas City, Kansas from St. Joseph for a fresh start. However, a string of bad luck ended with them living in a motel. Just when they thought things couldn't get any worse, the bed bugs started biting.
"They told us to just shake the blankets shake the sheets," explained Gary, who asked his last name not be used, to protect his children's privacy.
The Regency Inn has a history of bed bug issues. A review of state records shows several violations dating back to January of 2012. According to inspection reports from the Kansas Department of Agriculture, there have been many complaints of bed bugs, the last formal complaint came in late October.
"If it was just me I could deal with that, but you know, I have my children involved, you know, wife and kids to think about," said Gary.
Gary moved his wife and four kids to Kansas City, Kansas to make a better life. They lived with relatives, but a fall out landed Gary and his family at the Regency Inn.
"The first night was filled with bed bugs, couldn't sleep biting my kids, myself." said Gary.
Gary and his wife asked, then begged for another room.
"We moved to a room, kind of been lucky to not have bed bugs, but we haven't had heat last two weeks." said Gary.
When it got really cold, they complained again. Gary said he was told to be out of the room Saturday morning. But thanks to a program offered by the Kansas City, Kansas school district, Gary and his wife saw their luck change.
"I got blessed today with a week's rent at another motel, you know, very happy about that," explained Gary.
The helping hand comes from the district's homeless program. With four kids in school, services are available to make sure the best interest of the child is served. In this case, a clean, safe place to stay along with some coats and food. Gary's wife said the entire ordeal has been horrible, but in a way, very helpful.
"It shows your children how to be strong through things and not to give up be better people and know school definite thing they want to go through so they don't have through the situations we did not getting an education," explained Gary's wife.
Gary continues to work every day and is hopeful they'll be able to get their own place and a car very soon. In the meantime they are thankful for the help they've received. They do plan on filing a formal complaint with the state. Several attempts to talk with the owner and manager of the motel were unsuccessful.