Rockhounds Resorting to "Host Homes" to Battle Housing Shortage

Rockhounds Resorting to "Host Homes" to Battle Housing Shortage

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - For more than 40 years, Midland has been home to a minor league baseball team, but come April first when those baseball players get to the Tall City, it's going to be harder for them to find a place to call home.

"When a player comes in, the team will put them up for three days, and then they need to find their own arrangements after that," Rockhounds Booster Club President, Stefanie Forgey, said.

Brian Smith, who's in charge of public relations for the team, said they usually have rooms set aside for the players, but it's been difficult this year.

"We work with apartment complexes and try to set up a block of rooms but as everyone is aware, that's just not possible. There are no rooms available," he said.

Without any real affordable housing in the area, the community is being asked to step up to the plate.

"They are considered professional players but they don't make a lot of money, so it is a huge help to them," Forgey said.

For the past couple of years, Forgey has taken in a ball player, or two, and let them live in her home, rent free.

"We open up our homes, and just offer them the basics, a bedroom and a bathroom they can use. We do this just as fans," she said.

Forgey told NewsWest 9, it's a great experience and she enjoys becoming a part of the players journey to the Major League.

"We've had several host homes that have had players that have made it to the major leagues, it's an opportunity to be a part of their lives for just a little bit," she said.

Smith said the team is really depending on the community this year.

"A lot of times they don't know that they're coming to Midland until a day or two before they leave Phoenix," he said. "So it's almost impossible for them to try to make advanced plans."

Smith also said Midland's host home program is known throughout the minor league world.

"The players tell us, cause they have friends on teams all over the country, we have one of the best situations for them here with our community support," he said. "They said it's unlike anything else in the country."

Right now, the players are still in their spring training in Arizona. They will come to Midland in April. If you are interested in becoming a host family, just go to the Midland Rockhounds website and apply.