Rental company sets up special fund to provide free, furnished housing for health care workers

Coronavirus
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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 have a new option for temporary housing as they work to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.

“You feel so helpful and grateful you’re able to help those that are sick at this time, but you don’t want to take it back to those you love as well,” said Cleveland Clinic Clinical Technician Ariel Mumford.

Mumford said she doesn’t want to expose her parents at the Cleveland home they share.

“Everyone’s advising the social distancing, so I wanted to be able to do that for my family to keep them safe as well,” she said.

Mumford turned to the caregiver shelter fund, started by Columbus short-term rental company Airriva, which manages corporate housing units.

Airriva Partner Sales Executive Sean Whittaker said the pandemic cut Airriva’s occupancy from 95 percent to just ten percent overnight.

“We knew that we had to make a switch, we had to adapt to the market, so we were looking into how can we help the community and still keep our people employed?” Whittaker said.

Airriva launched the fund last week to provide caregivers with free, furnished housing in dozens of its available rental units and hundreds of hotel rooms managed by MRN Hospitality in Greater Cleveland.

Whittaker said in its first week the fund has raised more than $10,000, with Airriva matching the first $25,000.

“The idea is that we created a fund that the community can support, donate dollars in, so the frontline caregivers have a place to stay donated by the community,” Whittaker said.

He said the units are being fully sterilized to provide safe housing for caregivers like Mumford, who’s moving into a 2-bedroom condominium in Ohio City with a coworker Friday.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the donations from the community, so I’m so grateful,” Mumford said.

Those interested in taking part or donating can do so by visiting caregivershelterfund.org.

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