As healthcare workers support their respective communities during the COVID-19 outbreak, My Place Hotel owner Kevin Nelson started providing free rooms to any healthcare professional who need a place to stay in Lubbock.
“We’re all being asked to do something different and make a sacrifice, but nobody, as a group, seems to be making a bigger sacrifice than our healthcare workers,” Nelson said. “They are not only, not running from the risk, but they're actually walking into the risk.”
After finding out healthcare workers are being asked to isolate themselves from their families to prevent the spread of the virus, Nelson said he wanted to help and limit the financial burden on the workers. With a unique model of rooms that each include a full-size refrigerator and kitchen, he said he realized that My Place Hotel was well-situated for the workers to have a home away from home.
“Some of them, because they have an essential job, can’t go home and risk being exposed by their family,” Nelson said. “Then, of course, some of them have family members that are compromised or elderly, so they can’t afford to expose their family. They have to find somewhere to stay.”
After releasing a statement announcing the free service on Sunday, My Place Hotel received several calls from healthcare workers looking to take advantage of the help offered. Despite already receiving traction with the statement, My Place Hotel will also reach out to both Covenant and university Medical Center to spread the word.
With an unprecedented situation, Nelson said there is no way of knowing how popular the provided services will be, and rooms will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis. My Place Hotel also set aside a limited number of rooms for healthcare workers.
“It’s not that we have an unlimited number of rooms, but we’re trying to get a process in place to handle, you know, if we have more people interested than we have number of rooms,” Nelson said. “We’re talking about waitlisting and doing some other things to make sure we accommodate that. If there’s way more, then we can figure out other things. We’ll find partner hotels that can help too.”
While Nelson and My Place Hotel are offering rooms free of charge for healthcare workers, the hotel industry has taken an economical hit due to the lack of transient guests. With more open rooms than usual, Nelson said he wanted to do his part in helping the community during the unprecedented times.
“I don’t know what this moment is for each of us. What I do know is that it’s a significant moment in history, and I want to do my part well just like all of us want to do our part well,” Nelson said. “We’re all having to make sacrifices, we’re all having to do something different and this is a small thing we can do.”
As Nelson is working with providing the same help to the My Place Hotel location in Amarillo, he said helping the Lubbock community is meaningful to him, as he is a Texas Tech alumnus.
“We’re gonna get through this,” Nelson said. “Red Raiders are resilient, Lubbock is resilient, West Texans are resilient. We’re gonna get through this and we’re gonna be better on the other side of this than we are now.”