Luz Medina has worked as a housekeeper all her adult life, but amid the coronavirus outbreak last March, she was furloughed from her job at a local hotel. The divorced mother, who has two teenagers at home, applied for assistance but faced a time lag before it commenced. She desperately needed immediate help.
It came in the form of a $100 gift card, which she received through a partnership between United Way, its partner agencies, and Hamilton County Job & Family Services.
“If I wouldn’t have had that $100, we probably wouldn’t have had anything to eat, because I didn’t have anything in the house,” she says. “The same day I got the card, I went to Walmart and bought food.”
For Luz and many others, the pandemic continues to be a serious financial burden. After a five-month furlough, Luz was called back to work part time. She was about to begin full-time work in November when her son tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the family to quarantine for two weeks.
“I’m still just catching up with my rent,” Luz says. “I’m grateful my landlord chose to work with me. He split my rent into two monthly payments.”
She also is grateful to those whose donations made possible the gift card she received last spring. “It really helped me and my kids. I just wanted to say thank you.”
Many people have been jobless for months during the pandemic. People like Luz Medina are grateful to receive a hand up.