ORLANDO, Fla. - Many who have earned a living working jobs along Orlando's International Drive are now unemployed and struggling, but one business is trying to step up and help out.
Chris Benson said he worked at a Kisimimee resort but was recently laid off.
"We got laid off a week ago because of the virus going around so the whole hotel shut down," said Benson.
Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged to 3.28 million last week as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses around the country to close. That includes restaurants, hotels and other businesses along I-Drive.
"I feel right now just hopeless," Benson said. "I don’t know what’s going to happen."
Orlando Forum along I-Drive also shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. But now, they're turning their space into a donation center for people who need food and other essential supplies.
"The hotels shut down, the tourists left, and all of these people are not out of work," said Michael Beacham, a partner at Orlando Forum. "A lot of them are paycheck to paycheck and that paycheck ran out."
They're hoping to help others in the hospitality businesses whose future is now uncertain.
"It’s really hard right now," Benson said. "I just paid my light bill, rent is coming up, I don’t know how I’m going to do it."
They need food donations and other essential items. If you would like to help contact, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also head to the Orlando Forum from 9-6 p.m. to deliver or pick up food.