Osceola families living in motels during the pandemic

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Florida – The Magic Castle is not a fancy Walt Disney World resort, but a humble hotel. And the place where Hassanna Malainine, who is called Sammy, and her three children now live. Maya, 7, Rayan, 9, and Bidi, 12, said they missed their old home. “And the bunk bed was beautiful, I loved it,” Maya explained.

For a growing number of families, hotels like this are home. “But it’s just a place to keep them safe until we see what’s going on with this pandemic,” Sammy said.

You see, Sammy lost his job during COVID and had a hard time. It’s even more difficult as a single dad, because mom is no longer in the picture. The addiction got the better of her.

Sammy and the kids were evicted from their last home because they just couldn’t pay the rent. “I earn between $ 60 and $ 70 a day on Uber. I can only work when the children are being looked after by someone else, ”Sammy said. “If I can’t find someone to watch them, I won’t be able to work. I can’t leave them alone, you know.

Sammy’s car has been messing around lately, threatening his gig with Uber. Finding affordable housing and saving enough is a big deal for this family. “I spent over $ 700 on applications,” Sammy said. “Everyone tells me no, we are not renting for you because you have an eviction. You know, evictions in the past.

These children are not the only ones who face uncertainty every day. Osceola County has over 2,500 students who experience some form of homelessness. “I just want peace and a happy life for these children. That’s all I care about, ”Sammy explained.

Sammy often takes the children out, to distract them from their reality. Disney is only five miles from them, but they say the best parks in life are free. While this single dad may not have enough to cover theme park tickets for four, he said he’s still richer than most.

Sammy said he was grateful to nonprofits like Embrace of Celebration, which helped keep him afloat.

A GoFundMe page has been created for Sammy and her three children. Spectrum News 13 is not affiliated with this page.

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