By David Turnoy
Here is a story that will make you feel good. We have all heard wonderful tales about healthcare workers and other frontline workers doing so much to help other people during this time of pandemic. But there are others, not as noticeable, who are also providing very helpful and needed services. This is a story about one of those others.
Part-time Orcas resident Chris Graham, who spends the bulk of his time in Manhattan as an attorney, is finding that his legal skills are particularly useful during the pandemic. “People are so traumatized,” he says, “but I’ve never felt so good in the strangest of ways because my services have never been so needed. Literally, elderly grandmothers crying on the phone to avoid eviction when the moratorium is lifted, and even 2-family homeowners at risk of foreclosure because tenants can’t afford to pay rent through no fault of their own. It’s such a convoluted mess.”
But Chris is able to help these folks with remedies he has crafted, solving problems to keep them in their homes and working out solutions to resolve their debts over time in an affordable manner without paying interest. “That makes my day!” exclaims Chris. “Never thought it could feel so good to work so hard!”
Another issue in which Chris has participated is helping laid-off workers get their jobs back. He says that as soon as enough people have received the vaccine, many of the folks temporarily made homeless and unemployed will have jobs waiting for them. While some employers might want to hire new people and avoid paying the higher wages and benefits of the formerly employed, Chris states that institutions with whom he has a professional relationship have ensured that through local government support and litigation thousands of former employees will be offered their jobs back first.
Finally, on the lighter side, Chris and his partner are hosting a Bread-Baking-Fest with their neighbors. His partner will teach all how to make and bake an amazing Olive Bread that includes, among other things, onion, parmagiana reggiano & thyme, and of course salt and olives. They are making five loaves each, keeping one and offering all the rest to a local food bank that accepts fresh food for the homeless, many of whom have been made recently homeless due to COVID.