Tampa Bay families receive hope during COVID-19 crisis

The effects of the pandemic are still being felt. We continue to serve thousands of families asking for help that were previously getting by. With unemployment spiking, thousands are left wondering where they would live and where their next meal would come from. Every day, we learn about the heart-wrenching circumstances of families in desperate need of hope. 

Thanks to you and generous community partners, families in need find support, comfort, and resources. Since our response to the pandemic began, the number of people coming to us for help has not slowed down. We are serving six times as many people. This includes more than 2,000 families who are seeking assistance with rent, food, and utilities.  

Craig’s Story 

We have also seen a rise in families who are no longer able to put food on the table due to this crisis. Help with rent or utilities is on the rise, but food insecurity is an immediate need. Your support has helped families, and individuals receive one of the 25,000 and counting food boxes — each box containing 36 meals. This was a lifesaver for Craig, a college student. 

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Craig found himself in dire straits. Working as a restaurant manager, while being a full-time student was already complicated. His situation would only become worse when his restaurant was shut down. “It was so scary because as a college student a long way from home, I didn’t have the support,” said Craig.  

With no income, it became harder to stay on top of the bills. Craig and his three other roommates, who also lost their jobs, found themselves staring at empty shelves and out of options. That’s when he reached out to Metro for help. “You never will imagine yourself in a situation like this,” said Craig “We are beyond grateful for the food.”  

Thanks to you, Craig, and many people like him, have food to help them get by during these trying times. 

Cameron’s Story 

Cameron, a father of two, lost his job when businesses shut down. He found himself in distress about how he would care for his family and provide them with a home and food. Having to make the choice between food and shelter was devastating. “It all happened so fast, none of us had time to prepare for how much this would alter our lives,” he shared. 

With the bills piling up and the stay-at-home order announced, Cameron wondered how he would provide. As he looked at his children, he had to consider making a hard decision, choosing to pay the rent or buy food for them. With the Shelter-In-Place order, he shared with us that they needed a safe place to be. They also needed food to last them during the quarantine. “I had never been so stressed. I didn’t know if I could provide, and that’s a very scary feeling as a father,” said Cameron. 

Thanks to your generosity, he didn’t have to choose between paying the rent or feeding his kids. He explained that he was able to use the little money he had to buy the food his family needs in this crisis because Metro assisted him with his rent. He shared that Metro changed his life. “Because of you, I didn’t have to choose between rent and food for my family.” 

Rebecca’s Story 

When Rebecca lost her job because of COVID-19, her thought immediately went to how she would continue to provide for her special needs child as a single mom. 

Connor, her son, has a medical condition that intensifies with the extreme Florida heat. Out of work, with the bills piling high, Rebecca’s utilities were shut off. For families like Rebecca’s, having the utilities on is a matter of good health for her son. 

With little hope and seemingly nowhere to turn, Rebecca learned about Metro and the lifesaving support families were receiving during the crisis. 

“I filled out the application, and from then, Metro took over,” she shared. 

Within a few days after she reached out for help, her utilities were back on. “When Metro told me they could help, it means I didn’t have to worry about my son getting sick. It was way more than just a bill paid; it was the assurance that my son would be okay.”   

Thanks to your support, families like Rebecca continue to find the hope they need during these desperate times. The donations you give mean more than you can imagine to the families you help serve. 

These three stories are just a few of many that we have collected since the pandemic hit. Your support helps restore hope to families on the verge of giving up. Your generosity helps promote dignity as we work together to reach those in need in our community.  

Let’s Spread Hope Together 

Our work isn’t complete. We continue to meet the constant flow of needs for so many hurting families in our community. Donate today.