When I got out of the military, I worked for a company where your first six months you did not know if the morning you walked in was going to be your last.
So, instead of tying myself to a lease, I made an arrangement with this couple that owned a series of rental cottages in the small resort town that the company was in. I would keep to myself and occasionally converse with the other guests.
The owner of the cottages knew that I was quite literally living week to week. Which is why that a move he made around Labor Day the year I lived there was just amazing.
I was sitting in my little one bedroom furnished cottage when there was a knock on the door. The owner is there and he said that there was a group that had to leave early and instead of just junking all the food that they had leftover they wanted to give it to me because I was nice to them or something like that.
I figured it was going to be a pack of hotdogs or something simple. As it turns out, it was enough food to feed five people for a week. There must have been a few hundred dollars worth of food there and they gave it all to me when I needed it the most. We have to take care of each other.
The spread of the coronavirus has upset many lives and livelihoods. Many people were already stretching to get by, or their income depended on business going on as usual, but much of that has changed, leaving many in the lurch.
Added to the financial instability is the fact that even if you do have money to pay for food, just shopping is risky.
Thankfully, realizing that the next few months might post a problem for renters (especially those tied to the food industry), some landlords have waived rent or given their renters an extension.
Nathan Nichols is one of those landlords. Not only did he give his renters a break; he encouraged other landlords to do so as well.
“COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country,” he posted on Facebook on March 13. “I own a two unit in South Portland and all of my tenants are in this category.
“Because I have the good fortune of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April.”
“I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”
Of course, landlords have their own bills to pay and many rely on their renters’ payments to keep things afloat. However, there are relief programs available, and some have assessed their situation and decided they could swing it.
But one landlord, known only by the name “Alan,” has gone beyond just suspending rent. He made sure one of his tenants was provided for, spending his own money to ensure they had food.
Christina Marie is a mom of four in Saginaw, Michigan, according to her Facebook profile. She was surprised when she found out Alan wouldn’t be collecting rent for April.
“SOOO My landlord Alan called me earlier and told me not to worry about rent this month and we will worry about it later,” she posted on April 6. “[I] said okay!”
But he didn’t stop there.
“Than he asked me if we had food I told him how I had 3 packs of meat left and needed to go this week and he told me okay be safe. Than I get a text saying go to your front porch please !!! And I see this I couldn’t tell you how I feel right now,” she wrote, adding a photo of the groceries he left her.
Milk, potatoes, fresh and dry goods and diapers: He covered it all.