helping hands

Helping Hands: Local Union Helps Feed Hospitality Workers During Pandemic

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Financial freedom was never something Roselande Guerrier was afforded, but before the pandemic, she was getting by.  

In order to make it, she was working a part-time and a full-time job, both in housekeeping at two different Miami Beach hotels. She says she was bringing in $1,500 on a monthly basis.  

“It is very expensive by myself,” she said. 

Guerrier is taking care of her three children -- two teenagers and a toddler -- by herself. Her husband is going through the immigration process in the United States, but she says he was temporarily sent back to Haiti. 

The initial shutdown in South Florida brought on by this pandemic put her out of work for months. Although hotels have opened up again, Guerrier's hours have been drastically reduced. On top of that, she lost her health insurance. 

He situation is not unlike the situation of many who are working in South Florida’s hospitality industry, according to the union that represents Guerrier and thousands of others.  

Unite Here Local 355 is trying to help many who are struggling tremendously during this unprecedented time. 

“These are low wage workers," said Unite Here Local 355 Secretary-Treasurer Wendi Walsh, as she describes the union’s members. 

The vast majority didn’t have a safety net before the pandemic. They are having a hard time feeding their families now. 

That’s why the union hosts frequent food distributions. This free food is helping Guerrier feed her three kids, in the same way it is helping many others keep food on the table.

The demand is extensive for the union as the pandemic continues. If you would like to donate to help keep these distributions, going you can visit www.unitehere355.org.

Helping Hands airs every Tuesday on NBC 6 at 11 p.m. For more stories about the people and organizations working to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

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