Davis is just one of millions of laid-off or furloughed Americans who will be homeless this fall unless the federal eviction moratorium, a key provision of the CARES Act, is extended.
This week, he and other hospitality workers are staging food giveaways for fellow workers in need — right in front of the offices of key US senators who have opposed extending unemployment benefits.
It would would extend the CARES Act’s stimulus measures that were introduced in the spring, including the moratorium on evictions. Each of those senators is up for re-election in November.
In Atlanta, Davis will join dozens of airport workers on Tuesday in setting up a soup kitchen outside the office of Kelly Loeffler, the junior Republican senator from Georgia. Similar demonstrations are scheduled in Denver, Phoenix, Houston, Charlotte and Austin.
Reality check on rent
Davis says he received a letter back from his building’s owners, Braden Fellman Group LTD, who informed him that he had one day to pay his rent in full, along with a late fee, before the company moved forward with evicting him.
“I’m still arguing with them about a payment arrangement,” Davis told CNN Business on Sunday. “They really are going to have to come around and do a reality check with what’s going on in our society.”
On Monday, Braden Fellman co-owner Andrew Braden told CNN Business the letter Davis received was just an automated warning sent to renters who haven’t paid rent within a four-day grace period. Braden agreed to speak with Davis over the phone to clear up the matter.
“I’ve talked to many employers across Georgia that are having a hard time bringing back folks to work,” Loeffler told Fox Business last month. “We need to remove that incentive not to be at work. … I’m not seeing a big need to extend the federal unemployment insurance.”
Loeffler’s office on Monday said she needed more time to respond to a request for comment about the soup kitchen being set up outside her office Tuesday.
“I find it the height of hypocrisy that these same senators are willing to give billions to companies, but a poor worker getting $600 is too much,” Taylor told CNN Business on Sunday.
The ripple effects from declining to extend unemployment may cost Americans more in the long run.
Taylor estimates that at least 80% of his members, most of whom are people of color, are still out of work. The majority of them have relied on the $600 weekly unemployment checks they received through the CARES Act for income.
“You’ll have an incredible increase in homelessness,” he told CNN Business. “You’ll have people overrunning public hospitals because they don’t have health insurance, which means the taxpayers will be paying for it. I think we’ll have a situation of dire poverty in large segments of the community that will affect the schools. I don’t know how [HEROES Act opponents] think that won’t affect their schools, their hospitals, their lives.”