NJ nurses who battled COVID on front lines struggle for relief in wake of Ida damage

New Jersey

BOGOTA — For nearly 18 months, husband and wife Chris and Pearl King have been on the front lines of the pandemic.

Both registered nurses in Hackensack, they experienced firsthand the darkest days of COVID and, despite that, forged ahead for their community. And now they are the ones asking for help.

Their home in Bogota suffered serious damage from Tropical Storm Ida. The basement was overtaken by flooding waters at the height of the storm, causing their foundation walls to cave in. Soon after, the county deemed their home unsafe.

“The first thing I thought about was that my kids can’t go sleep in their bed, I can’t go back to my house,” Chris King said. “My children can’t go back into their home – that’s the only thing that resonates.”

The relief on both the local and federal level has lagged, according to King.

The father of two, who is a veteran that served with the US Navy, has applied for aid with FEMA and the SBA. That paperwork is still being processed and now time is running out for the family.

Emergency housing, for what they say was a 90-day window provided by Bergen County, was rescinded overnight without any explanation.

To add insult to injury, the notice was stuffed under their door Wednesday afternoon.

“As of last night, we got a letter saying we have to be out in five days,” King explained. “With no resources, no place to go – what are we supposed to do?”

Not only do they need housing, but they now want answers from county officials.

The frustration is reaching a boiling point for King.

“Being on the front lines I just knew I had an obligation to my job and my patients and to my community and I stepped up,” King told PIX11. “I did it, now I need someone to look at my family and say ‘hey, these guys were there for me.'”

As the situation becomes more dire for the King family and with housing uncertain, the family is turning to the public via a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising the much-needed funds to keep them afloat. To donate click here

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