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Coronavirus job loss sends Florida family into homelessness

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KISSIMMEE, FLA. — The pandemic had forced them from their home. Then they had run out of money for a motel. That left the car, which is where Sergine Lucien, Dave Marecheau and their two children were one recent night, parked in a lot that was tucked behind a row of empty storefronts.

Sergine eyed some men gathering by a fence in the opposite corner of the blacktop.

“I just heard some f-bombs,” she said.

“I’m not worried,” Dave replied.

Days earlier, Dave had started a $14-an-hour construction job and expected to collect his first paycheck in the morning. If all went as planned, this would be their last night sleeping in the car.

“I see a guy doing drugs over there,” Sergine said, glancing at the huddle of men.

“Ginnie, this is a good spot,” Dave insisted.

The spot was six miles from the main gate of a shuttered Walt Disney World, the engine of Orlando’s vast tourism economy, which in the best of times had struggled to keep its armies of low-wage workers housed, clothed and fed. Now the pandemic was revealing just how fragile and cruel that economy could be, as thousands of those workers found themselves on the edge of eviction and homelessness, living in cars or squatting in abandoned motels.

The sun sets behind one of the many gift shops in Kissimmee, Fla.

In late May, Vice President Pence met in Orlando with executives who described the catastrophic damage to Florida’s tourism industry, after a record 131 million people visited in 2019. “If we don’t get back to work quickly, it’s all over. It’s all over,” the CEO of a large hotel and convention company told him.

“We’ll get this opened up,” Pence replied.

Even when the economy was booming, Dave and Sergine had lived in a state of near homelessness, shuttling between seedy motels that had become a shelter of last resort for thousands in the Orlando area. Last year, after six years of the motel life, they had saved enough to finally make it out. They bought an RV and rented a spot in a quiet and clean mobile home community. Sergine promised the kids they would never go back.

Now all that was gone. In theory, they qualified for a $3,400 federal stimulus check, but they had no bank account or address to collect it. In theory, Dave was entitled to unemployment, but as of May only about 43 percent of the state’s 1.1 million claims had been paid.

Their reality was another night in their 15-year-old Saab hatchback, the promise of a paycheck and then, maybe, an upgrade to a run-down motel room. Their last meal — eight hours earlier — had come from the McDonald’s dollar menu. Jayden, 12, hunched over a spiral notebook sketching robots, squinting to compensate for the glasses that had broken a few months earlier and had never been replaced. Phoenix, 7, complained that her parents had promised to buy her a basketball.

“I’m trying to teach you that you need food. You need water — you don’t need a basketball,” Sergine told her.

But when she looked away, Dave handed his kids $1 each — the last cash he had — and soon, the family was heading to the Dollar Tree, deciding that a moment of unexpected joy was more important than food. Phoenix picked out a jar of pink slime. Jayden eyed a bag of chips but settled on a spiral notebook. He would rather draw than eat.

(Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)

Then it was back to the parking lot that was filling with the homeless. Dave blew up an air mattress for the kids that spilled out of the hatchback. When a man approached the car, he yelled, “Get away! Corona!”

When a second man in soiled clothes started to urinate about a dozen feet from the spot where Jayden was sitting and sketching, Dave cursed at him and ran him off.

“That’s why I don’t want to be here,” Sergine said. “We gotta move.”

They were loading up when the man reappeared, clutching a broken umbrella he had plucked from a nearby dumpster.

“I pee in the grass! I pee in the grass!” he screamed and charged at Dave, who grabbed a two-by-four from the ground and hit him hard in the back. The man, who appeared mentally ill, cried out in pain. Dave, Sergine and the kids fled to a better-lit, but more open and exposed, McDonald’s parking lot.

“Just one more night,” Sergine assured herself.

She set her phone alarm for midnight so that as Thursday turned to Friday, she could check whether Dave’s first paycheck had hit their account. She could hear the clatter of raccoons foraging in a nearby dumpster and the hum of cars rolling through the drive-through. At 12:01 a.m. she looked to see whether Dave’s paycheck had shown up in his account.

Nothing. They were still broke.

Sergine Lucien and her husband, Dave Marecheau, check their phones before sleeping in their Saab hatchback in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Kissimmee, Fla., on May 14.

7-year-old Phoenix Marecheau prepares to go to bed on the air mattress in the back of her family’s car last month.

Sergine Lucien dozes on an air mattress with her two children, Jayden and Phoenix, in Orlando on May 15. While her husband, Dave, goes to work at a construction site, Sergine and the kids stay parked at the nearby gas station because she can’t drive.

They had come to Orlando from Brooklyn in 2013, drawn by the area’s warm weather and seemingly endless supply of low-skill jobs. A few months after arriving in Florida they were short on rent and had to check into a run-down motel on Highway 192. For families with bad credit, no savings or prior evictions, the motels were often the only option. Dave, 50, and Sergine, 39, ticked all the boxes.

“The most raggedy, hooker and drug-infested motel costs more than $1,000 a month,” Sergine said. For years, they were stuck. Phoenix took her first steps in the Home Suite Home motel. Jayden and Sergine kept a tally of the best and worst places they had stayed.

“Where was our first room at the Red Carpet Inn?” Sergine asked.

“Room 207,” Jayden replied. “It looked like someone got murdered in there.”

“Literally three walls had blood on them,” Sergine added.

Last year, Dave and Sergine finally scraped together enough money to buy a $4,500 RV and rent a slab in a mobile home park with shuffleboard courts and a heated pool. Dave, who had spent two years as a prep cook at the Regal Oaks resort, was earning $14 an hour. He took a second job as a dishwasher at the local outpost of Joe’s Crab Shack, the iconic Miami restaurant.

Jayden and Phoenix finally had their own beds, a place to keep toys, and a steady group of playmates. Dave and Sergine promised the kids that they would never go back to the motels.

Money was still tight and sometimes they fought. In February, Dave was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge after Sergine called the police. She said she pushed him and that he responded by hitting her with a backpack. The charge was dropped. Then in late March the pandemic hit, tourism stopped cold and Dave lost both his jobs. Their RV was towed to an impound lot. They were back in the motels.

Sergine Lucien grabs clothing, toiletries and other important items out of the family’s storage unit in Kissimmee, Fla., on May 16. Sergine and her husband pawned their wedding rings, along with their children’s Christmas presents, to have money to pay for a motel.

Three weeks later, Disney furloughed almost 43,000 park workers, adding a flood of new unemployed people to an economy that was already starved of tourists. Food lines stretched for hours.

Dave and Sergine pawned their wedding rings, their television and their children’s Christmas presents — Jayden’s Nintendo Switch and Phoenix’s tablet — to pay for motel rooms. A couple weeks ago, Sergine sold the family’s $509 monthly food stamp allotment.

Signs of suffering were everywhere. At the Lake Cecile, just three miles from Disney World, a few dozen people were living in rooms without electricity or running water. A recently released inmate had moved into one. In another, a pair of out-of-work Applebee’s employees were trying to make it livable, with a woman scrubbing the floor while her boyfriend fetched water in a bucket from a dilapidated motel across the street.

Several of the rooms on their floor were charred black by fire. Three feet of green, mosquito-infested slime and trash stagnated in the swimming pool.

Dave and Sergine decided that their car was safer than a free room at the Lake Cecile.

The Lake Cecile, in Kissimmee, Fla., has no electricity or running water.

Unlike the Lake Cecile, with which it shares an owner, the Star Motel in Kissimmee, Fla., has power and running water.

A girl rides her bike past the Lake Cecile, a motel in Kissimmee, Fla., just three miles from Disney World.

Dave had planned to rise at 4:45 a.m. so he would have time to wash up in the men’s room of a nearby Wawa before he reported for work at 6:30 a.m. But when the alarm went off, he was too tired, so he hit snooze a half-dozen times before getting up at 6 a.m.

About 30 minutes later, the family pulled into a gas station parking lot near Dave’s job site for the beginning of his shift. Sergine had never learned to drive so she and the kids would have to spend the day in the car — no air conditioning, no shade, the windows down and doors open to stave off the 90-degree heat.

Dave returned with some devastating news: He wasn’t going to receive his first paycheck until the following Friday.

Seven more days of living, eating and sleeping in the hot, cramped car; seven more days of hoping no one would notice as she and her kids cleaned themselves in gas station restrooms; seven more days of worrying about her family’s safety.

Sergine rested her forehead on the steering wheel and began to sob. She looked up a short time later to find a sheriff’s deputy peering through the car window.

“You are not in trouble,” the deputy said when she saw Sergine’s panic-stricken face. “By no means are you in any kind of trouble.”

The officer asked where they lived and whether the kids were able to do online school. Sergine gulped for air between cries as she shared the story of the last few days in frantic and confusing fragments.

“I wish I could get you out of this situation … I wish I could get you a place now,” the deputy said. “My heart hurts for you.”

“I feel like a failure,” Sergine responded.

“I think you’re doing excellent,” the deputy replied. She peeked into the back seat where Jayden and Phoenix were eating their first meal in more than 18 hours. Dave’s boss had advanced him $100 that they would have to stretch to cover their next seven days of food and gas.

“You guys be patient and take care of your mommy,” the deputy said, and was gone.

To Sergine, it felt as if every institution that might provide her help was either overwhelmed or inaccessible. She had waited on hold for hours with the IRS in an effort to claim their stimulus check, before giving up. “It’s out there somewhere in the cloud,” she said.

The status of Dave’s unemployment claim had for weeks read “still pending.” The governor blamed the backlog on the state’s buggy computer system and Floridians’ failure to fill out the forms properly. Dave and Sergine had all but given up hope of ever seeing their money.

Sergine Lucien sits in a quiet strip mall parking lot with her children in Kissimmee, Fla. Though Sergine and her husband, Dave, are entitled to a $3,400 stimulus check, they’ve been unable to collect it without a permanent address.

Sergine’s best chance was a local charity group. She dialed the number for the St. Vincent De Paul Society’s financial help line, which had given her some money last year when they were moving into the mobile home park.

“Our small volunteer group is overwhelmed with those requesting assistance,” a recorded message played.

“Please, please, please,” Sergine prayed.

“Speak your name slowly and clearly … ”

Sergine held her breath and waited for the beep.

“Sorry, that mailbox is full,” said a computerized voice. “Goodbye.”

She dropped the phone in her lap. Tears ran down her face and neck. “I want to hit something. I want to scream,” Sergine cried. “I feel like I’m drowning.”

In the back seat, Phoenix squeezed her pink slime. Jayden was playing “Brawl Stars” on his phone. Around them cars were filling up with gasoline and families were going about their day.

Sergine brushed away her tears and called the resource counselor at her children’s elementary school.

“I’m so glad to hear your voice,” the woman said.

“I’m falling apart. I am done,” Sergine pleaded. “We’ve been in the streets for three days now. Dave doesn’t get paid until next Friday. My babies don’t have food to eat.”

Sergine could hear the clack of computer keys on the other end of the line. “Let me think, think, think,” said the counselor, who promised to phone back in 15 minutes with some options.

“What’s happening?” asked Jayden.

“I don’t know,” Sergine cried softly.

Instead of a callback, Sergine received a text with a phone number for a relief agency that she had already tried. “Ms. Lucien, this is temporary,” the counselor wrote. “This situation is temporary.”

To Sergine, though, the prospect of another week of public humiliations, of her back throbbing and her children going hungry seemed endless.

“Help me, Jayden,” she said. “Help me think.”

Dave arrived around 3:30 p.m., drenched in sweat from digging trenches in the 90-degree heat. He tossed Phoenix a rubber ball that he had found on the job site. “A basketball!” she said, smiling.

They drove back to Kissimmee, past shuttered chain restaurants, empty outlet malls and a parade of hookers still working a stretch of sidewalk along Orange Blossom Trail. First stop was EconoLodge, where Dave and Jayden went to grab some free ice.

Dave had come to the United States from Grenada and settled in New York City when he was 17, and he knew what it was like to be hungry. “How can I heal this problem?” he sometimes thought when he looked at Jayden and Phoenix.

Jayden’s legs were stiff from the long day in the car. His head was down. “This is how life goes sometimes,” Dave told him as they filled a thermos and two big plastic cups with ice. “We’re almost there son. Your dad is working on it. Once we make it we are not going to have to stay outside again.”

Jayden still hadn’t lost faith in his father. “He’s very hard-working,” he had said one night in the McDonald’s parking lot. “I could call him a workaholic.”

Now, though, Jayden didn’t speak. He just nodded.

Dave Marecheau plays with his daughter, Phoenix, in a strip mall parking lot.

Phoenix Maecheau leans against her family’s car in Kissimmee, Fla., on May 15.

Jayden waits for his mother and sister while the family’s car is parked at a RaceTrac in Orlando, Fla. on May 15.

Their last hope for a room was Barbie Austria, a woman who served free hot meals on weekend mornings at a homeless encampment outside the Osceola Christian Ministry Center.

Sergine had met Austria three years earlier in the parking lot of the roach-infested Star Motel, which shares an owner with the Lake Cecile. Austria was passing out free food and clothing. They reconnected earlier this spring when Sergine and Dave lost their RV and were forced to move back into the motels.

About two dozen people lined up for a hot meal, including a woman Sergine had worked with a few years earlier at Walmart and a man who helped with maintenance at the Gator Motel in exchange for a break on his room.

“She’s a beautiful soul,” Sergine said of Austria, who was unloading folding tables from the back of her pickup truck. Her hair was pulled back in a tight black braid. A fanny pack where she kept her pistol hung from her waist.

Austria ran Kissimmee-Poinciana Homeless Outreach, a small street ministry, with the help of a former Army cook and few volunteers from her church. One of the volunteers handed Phoenix two s’mores cookies.

“Who found marshmallows this big?” she said. “They probably make them.” She took a bite into one of the cookies and handed the other to Jayden. “Most of the people here know me, and I like it,” she said.

A few yards away, Sergine was telling Austria about their nights sleeping in the car.

“When will you be able to get back in a hotel?” Barbie asked.

“Friday,” Sergine replied.

A month earlier, when they were short of cash for a room, Austria had given her $150. This time Austria didn’t offer money. Instead she said she would try to help Sergine find a housecleaning job, though both knew the prospects were bleak. No one wanted strangers cleaning their house in the middle of a pandemic.

Dave grabbed four containers of food and some sandwiches that would have to last them the day. It was too hot to go to the McDonald’s parking lot so they parked in the shade of an oak tree adjacent to an RV park full of snowbird retirees. Behind them was a shopping center that Dave said he had painted four years earlier.

“You built it?” Phoenix asked.

“Nah, just painted it,” he said. “Me and two other guys.”

Dave leaned against a barbed wire and chain link fence that separated the lot from the RV park. He gazed out at the campers.

“My RV dream,” he said.

A thunderstorm was approaching. Sergine was reading a story on her phone about a new proposal from the state to extend eviction and foreclosure protections for a few more months. Neither proposal would help her.

“It’s going to be a sh—y day,” she said.

When the sun had set and the temperatures cooled, Jayden and Phoenix chased each other through the parking lot of a nearby strip mall and tossed Phoenix’s new ball until they lost it in the dark.

Then they looked through old photos on Sergine’s phone. Here was a picture of Dave one year earlier, standing in front of their RV in his black chef’s uniform smiling. He looked at least 30 pounds heavier. Sergine showed Phoenix a shot of her second birthday party.

“If I had a cake, why did I also have cupcakes?” Phoenix asked.

“We had money, and it was only $100,” Sergine replied.

Around 10 p.m., Sergine sprayed the kids with mosquito repellent. In the back of the family’s hatchback, Jayden and Phoenix drifted off to sleep. In the front, Sergine worried that the long hours in the car were making Jayden more withdrawn, less confident and sociable. She wondered if sleeping curled up next to his sister would stunt his growth; if going without glasses would permanently damage his eyesight. Phoenix carried on as normal, which worried her, too, because nothing about the last two months had been normal.

Phoenix and Jayden look into the windows of closed stores, while in the parking lot of a strip mall in Kissimmee, Fla.

Phoenix Marecheau plays with Pink Slime she purchased at a dollar store in the parking lot of a RaceTrac gas station in Orlando.

Phoenix Marecheau reaches into the trunk of her family’s car. Most of the family’s belongings are in storage.

In the morning they were back at the homeless encampment where Austria was once again passing out food. “I feel like I’ve failed my kids,” Sergine told her. “I feel like I’d be better off dead.”

“I wish I had answers,” Austria told her.

“We never get answers,” Sergine said.

Austria was packing up the food when she called Sergine over and offered to give her the money she needed for a motel until Friday when Dave would collect his first paycheck. The total bill for the Econo Lodge came to $217.11, which Austria said they could pay back in $10 weekly installments. They made plans to get a room that afternoon, but because of a glitch with Austria’s credit card, they had to spend one more night in the car.

On a Monday afternoon, after five nights in the car, they moved into the Econo Lodge, more exhausted than elated. Jayden flipped on a cartoon channel and collapsed on the bed. Sergine and Phoenix headed immediately for the shower.

“Do we have money to put towards dinner?” Jayden asked his father.

“Eat what’s in the room,” Dave said tersely.

Jayden and Phoenix eat breakfast in their room at the Econo Lodge. Barbie Austria, an acquaintance of their mom’s helped get the family of four back into a motel until Dave received his first paycheck.

The car’s gas gauge read empty. The family was down to its last 48 cents. Stacked on top of the mini-fridge were a dozen single-serving boxes of Cheerios, a crushed peanut butter and jelly sandwich and six single-serving packages of crackers. Jayden bit into the sandwich, while Sergine searched on the phone for food giveaways that they could walk to from the EconoLodge the next day. Almost all of them took place in the middle of the day when Dave would be at work.

As the evening wore on, the family relaxed and tempers cooled. Dave climbed into bed next to his son and picked up one of Jayden’s spiral notebooks, pausing over a creation that was half-man, half-battery.

“You used to draw stickman,” he said. “From stickman to this … wow.”

“This is my final concept of what I want that character to look like,” Jayden said.

“It’s nice. It’s good,” Dave told him. “I wish I could draw like that.”

Now that they were someplace cool and safe, Sergine took a moment to think about the mistakes they had made since coming to Florida. “We get a little money and rush out,” she said. “That’s what we did with the RV. We rush into things without planning because we want out so bad.”

Dave fell asleep next to Jayden, who was watching cartoons and drawing. Sergine curled up in the bed next to Phoenix. By 10 p.m. the lights in their room were out. The air conditioner was humming. The faint smell of mildew hung in the air. They had made it back to the place where they had started seven years ago.

Sergine and Phoenix organize all of their sample-size toiletries they have collected from donations and staying at different motel rooms on May 18.

Sergine says she worries about her children, Jayden and Phoenix. Jayden often squints over his notebooks because his broken glasses haven’t been replaced.

Sergine Lucien spends time outside of her family’s room at the Econo Lodge in Kissimmee, Fla.

Julie Tate contributed to this story.

Greg Jaffe is a national political reporter for The Washington Post, where he has been since March 2009. Previously, he covered the White House, foreign policy and the U.S. military for The Post.

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Car Subscription Australia: How to Choose a Car Subscription Service

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In uncertain times, you might think differently about things. For example, instead of buying and owning a car, there’s a chance you could have recently searched ‘car subscription Australia’, only to be confused at what is out there in the car subscription service space. 

That’s understandable – car subscription is a new idea, a new way of thinking about essentially paying to borrow a car long term and being able to swap cars if your circumstances change. Or, if you don’t need a car anymore, to simply return it without having to worry about the fuss of selling the vehicle.

So what is car subscription? How does it work? What type of person would it suit? How long has it existed? Who invented it? These questions will be addressed in this article, where we take a look at the pros and cons of car subscription, and – perhaps importantly for those out there who aren’t quite sure it’s the right solution for them – we’ll look at car subscription vs buying and car subscription vs lease.

What is car subscription?

Volvo has its own plan called Care by Volvo, and that will be launched in Australia in 2021. Volvo has its own plan called Care by Volvo, and that will be launched in Australia in 2021.

If you’ve ever paid to watch a movie using your Apple TV or Google Chromecast, this concept will be easy to understand: you pay to borrow the movie instead of buying a DVD from a shop and keeping it at home as a possession, while only watching it every now and then – if that. 

With car subscription you simply pay to use a car for a period of time. And the price you pay to subscribe includes all the costs you don’t want to have to deal with when you own a car – servicing, insurance, roadside assistance, registration and depreciation.

Car subscription allows users to subscribe to a car to use – and typically, the best plans offer monthly vehicle use periods, allowing you to either keep the car you have, or return it if you don’t need it. Or, if you need to swap from a city-friendly hatchback to a seven-seat SUV, some subscription services allow you to do that, often at an extra cost.

Are car subscriptions available in all locations? Sadly, not yet. The idea is pretty new to Australia, with a number of services launching in recent years. They include Carly, Carbar, Hello Cars and Blinker (which lots of people think is actually called Blinkers!), and you can find them online or in the app store.

Depending on your location, you might have access to one, some, or all of these services. Simply search ‘car subscription’ plus the name of your city, be it Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or somewhere else, or just type in ‘car subscription near me.’ A lot of these services are in their infancy, so you might not have access to one depending on where you live. Keep that in mind.  

Globally, car subscription has been around a while longer. The first service was apparently established in Hawaii about a decade ago. It’s come a long way since then, with luxury car brands now getting in on the action: Volvo has its own plan called Care by Volvo, and that will be launched in Australia in 2021. While in Europe, Jaguar Land Rover has recently launched Pivotal, a subscription service that could allow you to switch between an electric car for urban duties, or an off-roader for adventure times.

Who does car subscription suit?

 The first car subscription service was apparently established in Hawaii about a decade ago. The first car subscription service was apparently established in Hawaii about a decade ago.

Essentially, if you’ve thought to yourself: ‘I’d love to be able to drive rather than take public transport,’ then car subscription could be for you. 

Further to that notion, it could suit just about anyone who thinks they need a car at some point in their lives. You might be the sort of person who only uses a car occasionally, travelling to friends’ places or back home to the country.

Or you work as a contractor and need to get to an office over a three-month period. Or you’ve got a family SUV and just want something smaller for your grown children to use because they keep stealing your wheels.

Pros and cons of car subscription

Car subscription costs can be quite high, so you need to make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth. Car subscription costs can be quite high, so you need to make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth.

The pros are pretty clear: you don’t have to pay a huge lump sum for a depreciating asset, and the costs of ownership are all taken care of. That’s the biggest advantage.

Other ticks for car subscription include the fact you can change cars if your needs or requirements shift. You can also cancel your plan if you don’t need a car anymore. And while you don’t ‘own’ the car you subscribe to, you don’t have to share it with anyone else – which could be a reason you’d choose a subscription service over a car share service like GoGet. 

There are a few cons, though. The subscription service mightn’t have the car you want or need at a specific time. You mightn’t be able to access a service at all, based on your location. The costs can be quite high, so you need to make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth. And there can be rules around letting other people drive the car, too.

Car subscription vs buying & lease – how do they compare?

With car subscription, there’s no huge buy-in cost, and you can get out at any time. With car subscription, there’s no huge buy-in cost, and you can get out at any time.

If you’ve ever bought a car outright, you know you need a wad of cash to get the car in your driveway. That’s not going to suit everyone’s budget.

Likewise, if you’ve financed or leased a car, you need to know you’re going to have guaranteed income to be able to cover the payments for the period of the lease or car loan. Miss payments, and your car could be repossessed, leading to a bad credit rating.

 But with car subscription, there’s no huge buy-in cost, and you can get out at any time. That’s part of its appeal – some providers offer no deposit subscription, and there are even some that have a no credit check policy prior to approval. That could be heaven-sent if you’ve got a chequered history with past payments.

Then there are other elements to consider when weighing up a subscription vs buying or a subscription vs lease. Only a car subscription allows you to change cars easily, and some subscription services also offer delivery and collection of your car when you sign up or finish with it.

Plus, if you happen to be in an accident, you’ve got a guaranteed loan car from most subscription providers.

 How much does a car subscription cost? What types of cars are available to subscribe to?

Most subscription services don’t offer you a brand-new car. Most subscription services don’t offer you a brand-new car.

That depends on the provider, the terms and conditions, and the type of car you need. Bigger vehicles or more luxurious models will cost you more to subscribe, as they cost more to buy.

To give you an idea, Carbar offers something like a 2016 Kia Cerato sedan for $139 a week. Think you want an SUV instead? Consider a 2019 Mitsubishi ASX or 2018 Subaru Forester for $189 a week. Want seven seats? You could get a 2018 model Toyota Kluger for $229 a week. Got posh tastes (or just want to impress someone?) Maybe a 2019 Jaguar F-Pace could be your go, but it’ll set you back $429 per week. 

Just for balance, you might want to check out what Carly has on offer. You could get a 2015 Holden Barina for $133 a week or do your bit for the environment and get a hybrid Hyundai Ioniq 2019 model for $287 per week.

Or maybe you want to subscribe to a car to allow you to drive for Uber or Ola – check the terms and conditions of your subscription contract before just assuming that’s okay! – and a 2018 Toyota Camry for $336/week could be perfect for you.

The above prices are indicative and may not be correct at the time you’re looking for a car, and that’s the thing: prices vary between providers, and so will the stock available to you.

So, you might be desperate for a seven-seat SUV for an upcoming family trip – but you can’t get one. That’s a pretty sizeable downside.

Plus, most subscription services don’t offer you a brand-new car. If you’re after that new car feel and smell, you might not get it – there are near-new models on most of subscription site listings but expect to pay more for a newer car than you would one that’s older.

How many different car subscription services/companies are there in Australia?

With Blinker, you can visit a dealership and see what stock is available, then choose a car and pay as you drive. With Blinker, you can visit a dealership and see what stock is available, then choose a car and pay as you drive.

There are several reputable subscription providers out there for you to shop between – provided the service is offered in your area. The ones we’ve already mentioned include Carbar, Carly and Hello Cars.

Blinker works a bit differently – you can visit a dealership and see what stock is available, then choose a car and pay as you drive. Other options include Motopool and Popcar.

The subscription plans vary by provider: some require you to pay a joining fee, others don’t; some will deliver and collect your car, others won’t; some offer short-term cancellation, others require up to 30 days’ notice.

You really need to make sure you’re getting the right car and the right subscription plan for you, so make sure you do your research. 

Not sure you want to commit to a car subscription? You could try a car sharing service first. Take a look at GoGet, or Car Next Door – both of which are run differently to the ‘regular’ subscription services.

How do you choose the best car subscription service to suit your needs?

First off, consider your location. Search ‘car subscription near me’ or ‘car subscription’ and the name of your town or city to see if you can access a car subscription network. That’s a crucial step.

If you’ve got plenty of options available to you – if you live in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane/Gold Coast, this could be you – then it’s simply a matter of seeing what’s available to you. But again, be sure to read the terms and conditions to see what you are – or more importantly, are not – allowed to do with the car while it’s in your possession.

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77 hospitals that received $5M to $10M in PPP loans

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Hospitals with fewer than 500 employees and medical offices were among the top recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government, according to data released July 6 by the Small Business Administration. 

The data only includes companies that received loans of more than $150,000. The White House said that more than 86 percent of the loans were for less than $150,000, so the data reveals just a snapshot of the companies that received funding, according to The New York Times. 

The disclosure comes after lawmakers pressed the White House to be more transparent about the loans, established as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief Economic Security Act. 

The data puts the funding into ranges, with the top amount being $5 million to $10 million and the lower end of the range being $150,000 to $350,000.

Here is a list of the hospitals receiving $5 million to $10 million, by state. 

Note: Some states didn’t have hospitals receiving $5 million to $10 million.

Alaska
South Peninsula Hospital (Homer)

Arizona
Mount Graham Regional Medical Center (Saffer)

California
Bakersfield Heart Hospital
Barlow Respiratory Hospital (Los Angeles)
Central Valley Specialty Hospital (Modesto)
Mammoth Hospital Southern Mono Healthcare District (Mammoth Lakes)

Colorado
Aspen Valley Hospital
Southwest Health System (Cortez)
Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center (Walsenberg)

Georgia
Wayne Memorial Hospital (Jesup)

Hawaii
Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital (Waimea)
Kona Community Hospital (Kealakekua) 

Iowa
Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (Storm Lake)
Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Manchester)
Greater Regional Medical Center (Creston)
Mahaska County Hospital (Oskaloosa)
Montgomery County Memorial Hospital(Red Oak)

Idaho
Bonner General Health and Hospital (Sandpoint)

Illinois
Crawford Memorial Hospital (Robinson)
Jackson Park Hospital (Chicago)
McDonough District Hospital (Macomb, Ill.)
Roseland Community Hospital (Chicago)
Touchette Regional Hospital (Centreville)

Indiana 
Decatur County Memorial Hospital (Greensburg)

Kansas
Kansas Medical Center (Andover)
Newman Regional Health (Emporia)
Labette County Medical Center (Parsons) 

Kentucky
Harrison Memorial Hospital (Cynthiana)

Louisiana
Abbeville General Hospital 

Maine
Mount Desert Island Hospital (Bar Harbor)

Michigan
Dickinson County Healthcare System (Iron Mountain)
Kalkaska Memorial Health
North Ottawa Community Hospital (Grand Haven)
Scheurer Hospital (Pigeon)
Three Rivers Health 

Minnesota
Aitkin Community Hospital 
Community Memorial Hospital (Cloquet)
LifeCare Medical Center (Roseau)
Tri County Hospital (Carlton)
Welia Health (Mora)

Missouri
Cass Regional Medical Center (Harrisonville)
John Fitzgibbon Memorial Hospital (Marshall)
Perry County Memorial Hospital (Perryville) 
St. Alexius Hospital (St. Louis)

Montana
Community Hospital of Anaconda
Sidney Health Center

Nebraska
Kearney Regional Medical Center 
Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital (Omaha) 

New Hampshire
Androscoggin Valley Hospital (Berlin)
Huggins Hospital (Wolfeboro)
Speare Memorial Hospital (Plymouth)

New Mexico
Artesia General Hospital
Gila Regional Medical Center (Silver City)
Nor-Lea Hospital District (Lovington)

New York
Carthage Area Hospital 
Chenango Memorial Hospital (Norwich)
Eastern Niagara Hospital  (Lockport)
Erie County Medical Center (Buffalo)

Ohio
The Bellevue Hospital 
Van Wert Health 

Oklahoma
McBride Orthopedic Hospital (Oklahoma City) 

Oregon
Lake District Hospital (Lakeview)
North Bend Medical Center (Bandon)
Santiam Hospital (Stayton) 

Pennsylvania
North Philadelphia Health System
The Fulton County Medical Center (Mcconnellsburg)

Texas
Sana Healthcare-Carrollton Regional Medical Center

Vermont
Copley Hospital (Morristown)

Washington
Grays Harbor Community Hospital (Aberdeen) 
Prosser Memorial Health 

Wisconsin
Black River Memorial Hospital (Black River Falls) 
Crossing Rivers Health (Prairie Du Chein)
Reedsburg Area Medical Center 
The Richland Hospital (Richland Center)
Tomah Memorial Hospital 

West Virginia 
Pleasant Valley Hospital (Pleasant Point)
Powell Valley Healthcare 

More articles on healthcare finance: 
Elective surgery pause in Texas is bad credit news for hospital operators
HealthPartners to lay off 200, close clinics
6 latest hospital credit rating downgrades

 


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