According to Toronto newspaper The Star, a registered nurse in Toronto was evicted from the tiny room she rented after returning from a long shift. She had only been home for 45 minutes when police officers were knocking on her door insisting that her landlady “wanted her out” and that she had to “leave now”.
She was being evicted after a series of arguments with her landlady over health issues with her being a nurse and living in the house. So, after working 15-hours at the hospital helping Coronavirus patients, this nurse found herself suddenly homeless.
On March 18, a government order was imposed that suspends evictions during the pandemic. However, it does not protect someone who rents a room in a house or apartment where they share a bathroom and kitchen with the owner or landlord.
The nurse has remained unnamed to protect her privacy and allow her to focus on helping her patients with COVID-19. She wrote Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Mayor John Tory about her situation and that she wants the eviction ban extended to protect all during the health emergency.
The nurse, who had recently graduated school in January now has to pay off student loans. She had been struggling to pay the $550 a month for her room and is now struggling even more to pay $600 a week to live in a furnished suite since her eviction on March 31.
However, after this story was published in The Toronto Star, many readers wanted to help the nurse. One man, Kent Fletcher, who owns and operates a dance studio, emailed The Star saying that he can convert a part of his studio into an apartment for the young nurse. And, a spokesperson with Airbnb said the short-term online rental platform is offering free or cheaper accommodation for doctors, nurses, and health-care workers on the front-line during the pandemic.
The nurse responded, saying that she is “overwhelmed” by the generosity of the readers. “I am really, really happy that people care. I feel so relieved,” she said. “This is so overwhelming. I want to thank everyone.”
On another positive note, a different Toronto nurse was almost brought to tears as hundreds of Canadians cheered from their balconies for healthcare workers fighting Coronavirus.
This goes to show that events like this pandemic, show how bad some people can be but it also highlights the good in people. As the iconic Mr. Rogers said in an often overused but still true quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” So, even though times are bleak and people are showing their true colors, we have to remember to look for the people helping.
Header image courtesy of Pixabay.
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Georgia is a journalism student at The New School in Manhattan who loves writing, watching cartoons and intersectional feminism. She is an avid napper and cat lover. Because she is behind on the times, follow her only recently made twitter @georgiagrdodd.