ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Between COVID-19 restrictions and Hurricane Sally, Jennifer Lyn, who didn’t want to share her last name, has been repeatedly beat down this year.
“This time last year, I was in Charleston, South Carolina working the off season. I got back to what should’ve been my fifth season at Ride the Ducks of Seattle. I worked for two days, then they gave us the news that it just wasn’t gonna be sustainable this year so they closed down,” she said.
So, off to the Baldwin County beaches it was — somewhere tourism jobs were steadier than most in the COVID-19 era.
“I moved to Alabama to work for another tour company here, and I planned everything down to the smallest detail, and when I got here, I worked for two days and they said we need to suspend operations because of COVID,” she said.
Then came a stable option at Adventure Island in Orange Beach.
“So then I get another job here, and the day I was supposed to start was the day of the hurricane,” she said about that gig.
She said her problems persisted at home, when she says the person she was renting a room from became agitated as the hurricane approached and kicked her out.
“I just decided OK I’m just gonna have to live in my car for a little bit. So I’m driving down the road just trying to find a park or something,” she said. Then a police officer pulled up next to her. And her luck changed.
“He said well you should go home, and I said well I don’t have one anymore and this very compassionate, man who I’ve found out is typical of all the first responders here, was kind and compassionate. He directed me to resources, and now it’s not a permanent home, but a safe home, with wonderful people I never would have met if it hadn’t been for this hurricane,” she said.