Sept. 18, 2020
Best of the States
Putting a human face to the numbers: A waiter made homeless by the pandemic
Since the pandemic took hold in America, myriad stories have covered the broad economic impact of millions laid off or underemployed. But few have captured how the chilling trickle-down effect is changing lives.
Enter Kelli Kennedy. The Florida reporter produced a compelling, poignant story on one man's struggle with the devastating effects of the coronavirus shutdowns. Orlando resident Jeff Lello lost his waiter job, ended up homeless and briefly lived in a tent in the woods.
The story was among AP’s most-read of the week, drawing feedback from readers, colleagues and even politicians.
For a stark narrative of unemployment wrought by the pandemic, Kennedy’s story wins this week’s Best of the States award.