Kind landlord pays rent shortfall for tenant injured in fall
Emilia Garza now wears a leg brace and needs a cane to get around. Her mobility was greatly impacted after a nasty fall at a bowling alley in September. Her subsequent injuries, which included a fractured hip and tailbone, left the 66-year-old out of work, out of income—and nearly out of her home.
"I didn't think she was going to keep me because there's no work," Garza, a mother of 4 said.
She's referring to her landlord. Carmen Provenza turned her converted garage into a small apartment on the Northwest Side. She’s been renting it to Garza for the last 9 years.
But ever since she suffered her injuries, Garza hasn’t been able to pay the full $550 a month in rent. She’s about a thousand dollars behind—with just her social security to live on.
That's why she turned to Fox San Antonio’s CASH FOR KINDNESS. Garza nominated her landlord for helping her stay in the apartment and off the streets.
Provenza, who didn’t want her husband to know about her favorite tenant’s financial problems, has been supplementing Garza’s rent shortfall with her own money as a transportation worker in the North Side Independent School District.
Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf surprised Provenza while she visited Garza’s apartment.
“I told Ryan that when I lost my job, I thought I was going to be out on the streets,” Garza told Provenza while she held her hands. “And you haven't thrown me out. And there isn't another woman in this town like you.”
Provenza was shocked. “Oh my goodness!” she said. “What is this about?”
“You!” Garza said with tears in her eyes.
“Me?” Provenza shouted. She then reached out to give her tenant a big hug.
She had no idea this was part of a CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise. Provenza thought Garza had a job interview and needed her help as a reference.
“I do have to apologize because we told there was a job interview,” Wolf said to her with a smile. “There's no job interview. It's just Fox San Antonio.”
Provenza started laughing before she shouted “And I watch you!”
“We love to hear that but guess what?” Wolf said next. “Your day is about to get a whole lot better."
With Garza looking on with delight, Wolf pulled out a stack of $100 bills.
“$500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000!” Provenza counted. “A thousand?!"
It was the exact amount of money Garza owed for her rent.
The landlord waved the money in the air and shouted “$1,000 on CASH FOR KINDNESS!"
Garza said she finally felt like the burden had been lifted.
“I feel a little bit safer that I have my home and I can look for a job,” she told her landlord.
Garza turned to Fox San Antonio and said “And you're the ones that did it!”
She turned to give Wolf a kiss on the cheek. Provenza did as well.
“Well I'll take some sugar from both you!” Wolf said while they all laughed. “Oh wow!"
“Now, we're square and square!” Provenza told Garza with regards to the rent owed.
“You deserve that and a lot more,” she told her landlord.
A debt of kindness, paid in full.
Click here to nominate someone you know for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS prize.