Tariq and his wife moved to Ithaca from Pakistan with their three kids so that Tariq could work and pursue his education. But when COVID-19 closed Cornell’s Ithaca campus, Tariq’s family lost their primary source of income and the financial stress quickly set in.
Tariq shared, “Because the campus was closed and I was not working anymore, it really impacted me. It impacted my mental health, and I was having difficulty getting groceries. I really needed help.”
First, Tariq reached out to his personal network and received loans from family and friends to pay his rent and to buy groceries to feed his three kids. Tariq continued, “Before applying for the rental assistance, I was taking loans from friends here and there. But you know, you can’t ask all the time from people.” Soon Tariq found himself running out of options, “I was having this [question] in my mind, ‘What am I going to do now? I don’t have any [money] to pay [rent].’”
Fortunately, a colleague let Tariq know about the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program and encouraged him to reach out to INHS for support. Tariq was guided through the application process and was able to receive three months of assistance with his rent payments, allowing him to focus on feeding his family.
“After I got approval for the rental assistance, I started thinking about other stuff – about my groceries, about my studies, and all that. It was definitely a great relief. In the midst of this pandemic – this hard time – this help really meant a lot to me. When I received the email regarding the [rental assistance] approval, it was like out of this world. I showed that email to my wife and our kids and I told them, ‘There are good people in this world.’”
Right now there are so many families throughout our community, like Tariq’s, facing income loss and housing insecurity during these challenging times, but like Tariq said – there are good people in this world. We are so grateful to you for being one of them.
“It’s not just a ramp. Your support matters when it comes to helping people like myself.”
“I was living in my car, and I needed a place to live, and somebody hooked me up with INHS.”
“Having a home was a vital first step to starting our businesses and really rooting ourselves in Ithaca.”