Image credit: Michael Isabell
Matt Montleon, owner of the Honorable Ink tattoo shop on Main Street, was forced out of his apartment after April’s big wind storm damaged his building. In this episode he talks about the double setback of closing his business during Covid-19 and then losing the roof over his head a few weeks later.
“I had to move during a pandemic, alone because of social distancing, in the dark because the power got shut off because the roof was still leaking,” he says.
After living in motels for a while, he and his family have settled into a temporary home in Connecticut – generously provided by a family member – while he makes arrangements to return to the Beacon area. His boys have kept up a routine through school-provided distance learning as well as online Jiu Jitsu classes with the Evolution Grappling Academy on Main Street. “We are resilient,” he says.
Matt voices huge frustration with the state of housing in Beacon.
“In touring the apartments available in Beacon, you walk into some of them and they’re gorgeous. And they’re way overpriced,” he says. “The range that we’re dealing with in Beacon is so extreme. There’s no middle ground. It’s falling apart or it’s brand new. In my own personal experience, you don’t want to rent an apartment that’s falling apart and you shouldn’t be forced to live under conditions where you can’t trust the person who is literally holding your life in their hands. I rent from people whom I expect to take that money and continue the upkeep of the building.”