New York Habitat President Marie-Reine Jézéquel witnessed their acts of selfless dedication and wanted to help by providing essential workers with immediate temporary emergency housing near hospitals and crisis centers.
"Really, what fired my engines was the testimonial of nurses, you know speaking about their lives even now what they are going thru," said Jézéquel.
NY Habitat is a short-term rental company that usually caters to corporate clients and tourists.
When the state shutdowns began, business rentals dried up.
"I took the 9/11 mantra: serve the ones who serve," said Jézéquel.
NY Habitat is now offering some of its 800 vacant furnished apartments to health care workers and other first responders at reduced rates.
The apartments available are units near major medical centers in all five boroughs.
Most of these apartments come with fully equipped kitchens; some even have in-unit washers and dryers.
Getting the word out hasn't been easy. Jézéquel has posted on social media, reached out to FEMA, New York City, and even the nurses' union.
Jézéquel admits that by helping the first responders, she is also trying to help her employees and herself.
"I would like to survive," said Jézéquel. "I would like to be able to give a service and keep us going."
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
Where are the testing centers
See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus
Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey
Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut
New York City updates
Long Island updates
How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of COVID-19 cases based on patient address