If you are having trouble seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, we recommend that you try the view from a different tunnel—the Lincoln Tunnel, to be exact—in order to have a better perspective.
On the New Jersey side of the river, there is a kind motel worker who is ensuring that individuals in need have a roof over their heads by providing free rooms to those in need.
The Lincoln Tunnel Motel in North Bergen has been owned by Brian Arya and his family for many years.
Arya started working there during the night shift in 2012, despite the fact that he had dreams of having a career in acting. Five years later, his father gave him a partial ownership stake in the business.
Arya seen firsthand the growing demand for low-cost places to stay when the epidemic was only getting started.
“People were being quarantined, lockdowns began occurring, and then we began seeing an inflow of people that were not housed.
According to what he shared with CBS News, “you know, they just couldn’t afford rent any longer and so they’d come to our motel.”
The once-unassuming inn has recently gained “online fame” as a result of the inventiveness of one of its co-proprietors.
Arya took inspiration from his background in theater to create a continual stream of comedic videos that were also frequently moving and uploaded them to the platform TikTok.
The series that has been satirically called “Motel Hell” currently enjoys a fan base that is greater than 880,000 followers.
Given the size of his viewership, Arya had an idea: What would happen if he offered free lodgings to fans of his TikTok channel who were in need of a place to stay?
Arya did not merely consider the possibility; rather, she put her thoughts into action by initiating a program called “Free Room for You,” which provides free lodging to anyone who is in need of it but does not have other options.
He adds that from that point forth, his good deed just “snowballed.”
It didn’t take long before people started bringing in donations of food, toiletries, and money to help with front room rates.
Students from the nearby college transported a large stack of items from the food pantry to the location.
The wonderful contributions of Arya’s fans from all throughout the country allowed her Amazon Wish List to be completely fulfilled in record time.
The “pay it forward brigade” at the motel stepped up to the challenge as the winter’s chill became more pronounced and temperatures began to dip.
Around the time that the thermometer reached a chilly 18 degrees, Arya cites the efforts of an unknown donor who dropped off approximately 20 homemade care packages filled with the necessities.
These packages were then able to be distributed to motel residents as well as people who come in off the street seeking assistance. Arya was able to do this because the donor remained anonymous.
According to Arya’s estimation, he has donated somewhere in the area of fifty to sixty free rooms up to this point.
He makes the observation that those long-term guests whose housing was destroyed at the beginning of the epidemic have developed a bond that is comparable to that of a family.
Arya stated to CBS that there is undeniably a community in that location. “[You just need to] get to know individuals and get to know the stories behind the people you meet. It’s a privilege for me to be able to accomplish that.”
The appearance of novel coronavirus strains casts doubt on whether or not the situation will improve anytime soon.
To paraphrase the famous Motel 6 motto, though, “We’ll leave the light at the end of the tunnel on for you,” at least at this one New Jersey motel, until such times pass, “We’ll leave the light at the end of the tunnel on for you.”