In the book titled “Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States” written by Paul Groth discusses the different social factors that have changed the hotel industry. Groth takes a look at why many hotels in the downtown area have declined or have gone from being some of the most elegant hotels to SRO (single room occupancy) hotels. According to Groth the “SRO crisis” began in the 1970’s, or at least this is when people started to pay attention to the problem that was going on in every downtown across the country,
By 1960, welfare departments were referring more unemployed downtown people—especially the elderly—to hotels for temporary housing that tended to become permanent. As, Joan Shapiro has written , this was often the beginning of an un planned and unwilling interdependence between social services and hotel owners.” (Groth, 271)
This is what has happen within the Carlisle community with the Molly Pitcher and the James Wilson. The elderly people in the area have no place to go. They can no longer compete with the raising cost of living. Human services are needed in the downtown. Elaine Livas thinks that the only way to build a strong community is through helping on another out (hear audio). Places like Project S.H.A.R.E. and SAFE Harbour are needed in Carlisle because of many different factors. One of the most important factors are the lack of jobs in the community and the lack of affordable housing within the community. People stopped coming into the downtown more and more because of the introduction of interstates and highways.
Elaine Livas still believes there is still hope to revitalize the downtown. She believes that its going to have to take the community of Carlisle to get together first. (Listen to audio) Livas believes that Carlisle is a great place because of the amount of human services that are offered to the people but she says that she wish’s everyone was just as optimistic as she.[audio:livas.mp3]