Light to the World: A Devoted Christian Landlord Gives Nearly 200 Struggling NYC Tenants Free Rent

jesus and disciples

jesus and disciples

 

 

I’ve previously touched on the good deeds being done in light of the nation’s viral crisis, and here’s a great one.

In Brooklyn, amid business closures, layoffs, and reduced hours, a landlord is waiving rent for his tenants for the entire month of April.

Speaking with EWTN News Nightly’s Colm Flynn, Mario Salerno talked about his decision to give a free month’s stay to approximately 200 people.

Here’s what he had to say:

“I told them not to worry, not to panic. We’re going through some very tough times with this monster disease. I would waive all the rent for the month of April.”

EWTN walked with Mario through his neighborhood as he reflected on the business he’s built.

He owns a “mechanic shop, gas station, auto body shop.”

His father ran it before he.

Mario’s smartly invested in several rental properties:

“I have 80 apartments. I have quite several buildings, close to 200 tenants.”

The interviewer inquired, “[W]hat made you decide to waive the rent for all [of them]?”

He knew they were struggling:

“Because I had a lot of my tenants losing their jobs. I wanted them to have some peace of mind, not to worry about where their next dollar was.”

The guy wouldn’t have felt right if he hadn’t done something:

“I felt a lot more comfortable making sure they had food on their table, which several of them didn’t. And I felt very honored to tell them that.”

When asked about how much money he’ll be losing, he replied, “We don’t wanna really bring that issue up. That’s irrelevant to the value of a human life. Which, I value people’s lives.”

Mario posted a notice:

“I left a big sign…on the door. I told (them), ‘Very important, all the tenants: Stay safe, help your neighbors, and wash your hands.'”

EWTN asked a few residents about the gift they’d been given.

“Mario is…one of the genuinely…nicest people I’ve ever met,” one said.

Another spoke of the relief the month of free rent was providing:

“It was really wonderful, and I really needed it, and it’s helping me, and it’s gonna make it a lot easier and a lot better. I’m a lot less stressed out.”

ETWN asked, “Is it a help at a time like this?”

Another occupant:

“For everybody, yeah.”

So Mario wants to help, but why does he care so much? There’s a reason for the love in his heart.

He took cameras into his headquarters at the shop:

“This is the main office.This is where I have my shrine and where I pray. And when I come across tough difficulties, I ask the Good Lord.”

He continued:

“My Catholic faith brought it upon me to make this decision. The value of a life. And I pray every day, and when I have extra time, when I’m in quarantine…I pray, and I ask the Good Lord to please conquer this vicious virus.”

Don’t call him a hero:

“I don’t really look at it as being a hero. I look at it as being a human. So if I could make it easier on someone’s life, just pass it on.”

Sorry, Mario, but I’m calling you a hero. You’re what we need more of. Thank you — and thank God — for who and what you are.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

In This Time of Uncertainty, America Shows Its True Colors: We Are a Nation of Kindness and Love for Our Fellow Man

Amazing Photos Reveal Major Cities Devoid of People as the World Stays Home, Where the Heart Is

Semper Fi: An 87-Year-Old Credits His Military Training for Helping Him Survive the Wuhan Coronavirus

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