Why this host gave a COVID-19 responder a free place to stay
An Open Homes host in California explains how she was inspired to use her space for good
She provided an entire space for an emergency room nurse to stay
The nurse was able to keep working while isolating from family
The host says that her neighbors are proud to help support the nurse’s critical work
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Cinde, an entrepreneur in Sacramento, first became an Open Homes host in 2018 after being inspired by her pastor. The Camp Fire—the most destructive fire in California's history—was happening nearby, and Cinde wanted to go all-in to help. She became an Open Homes host for the first time to a pregnant woman and her family who fled their home in Paradise, Calif., after the fire.
A host’s mission to make first responders’ lives easier
When Cinde started hearing about healthcare staff and first responders who needed to isolate from their families while they worked on the front lines of COVID-19, she knew just what to do to help. After Cinde heard of a friend, Margy, who was a nurse and needed a place to stay, she immediately offered her home for free.
“Margy told me that every minute on her job, she has to make moral decisions. And this was one moral decision that she didn't have to make once she decided to come to a house that would be safe for her family,” Cinde says.
A nurse’s search for a place to stay
Margy has been an emergency room nurse for 13 years and seen her fair share of pandemics—from H1N1 to SARS to Zika—but as COVID-19 started to take hold, she knew she was going to encounter something different.
She was particularly concerned with the growing evidence that increased exposure to COVID-19 could lead to more serious cases, and even death. She wasn’t only worried about herself and her co-workers, but also what that could mean for her family.
“I feel a moral obligation to continue my work on the front line because I have the skillset that not everybody has to work in the emergency department,” Margy says. “But I also felt a moral obligation to protect my family.”
Margy was faced with so many decisions at work, while also being faced with the decision of when to move out—and if she could afford to. Cinde donating her home to Margy took that stress away. “We are so burdened right now, just physically and emotionally with the toll that this is taking. And so whatever burden can be lifted is just huge.”
The difference a supportive community can make
But it’s not just the financial burden that was lifted. Working on the front lines is emotionally and physically draining, and Margy has often felt isolated and alone. Cinde didn’t just give her a place to stay—she also gave her a sense of community.
“My friends in the neighborhood heard that [Margy] is doing work as an emergency relief worker and have come by to tell me how much they appreciate her work,” Cinde says. “They asked me to share that they are really proud of what she's doing, so even my neighbors are getting behind it. It's wonderful.”
Cinde was an inspiration for our Frontline Stays program, which we launched in March 2020. Cinde’s support of Margy demonstrates the importance of community during this difficult time. To Margy, it has made all the difference.
“If my community is supporting me like this, then I want to support them and stay on the front line,” Margy says. “And what we don't want in a pandemic is the front line walking away. So do what you can to support the front line. And this is one of those huge, huge things.”
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