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First Coast Connect

Eviction Crisis; Author Thomas Hischak; CarePath Respiratory Pathway

File of Signs that read "No Job No Rent" hanging from the windows of an apartment building

It’s the first of the month, which means for many that the rent is due. But many Floridians can't afford to pay their rent, due to coronavirus-triggered economic hardships. Stout, a global research firm, predicts that 749,000 Florida renters face the risk of eviction over the next four months.


Late in the day on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his executive order concerning the moratorium on evictions to October 1.


We spoke toMary DeVries, Division Chief of the Housing Unit withJacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc (JALA) about the issue. 


She says her team at JALA is “working with some tenants who have been able to receive a small amount of assistance from various agencies, but the bulk of the money is still something they’re going to have to pay back,” out of pocket.


“We’re seeing tenants with debts of four, five, six thousand dollars,” DeVries said.

JALA’s services are free for qualifying families.

RELATED: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Author Thomas Hischak


Local author andFlagler College professorThomas Hischak’s new book, The Mikado to Matilda: British Musicals on the New York Stage, explores why some musicals don’t transition well from a West End to a Broadway audience.


Hischak covers everything from Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operettas during the Victorian-era, to the Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musicals of the late twentieth century and recent hits such as Billy Elliot and Matilda


“It’s still a mystery why one show succeeds in one city and fails in another…It’s not like television and the internet made us all the same audience,” said Hischak.


He explained that while shows like Matilda succeeded because they “wisely kept the British [English]," when they brought it to America, others fell flat.


“Audiences just didn’t keep coming,” Hischak said of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s run on Broadway, which preserved the show as it had debuted on the West End.


And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lost millions on Broadway.


“They made the disastrous decision to have all the children played by adults because they thought the audience wouldn’t be so appalled if terrible things weren’t happening to the children,” said Hischak.


One unexpected success was Billy Elliott which, “reached audiences in both cities…on paper, it doesn’t sound like a good idea for an American audience.  It was a bit of a risk. Americans loved it…Something touched the audience,” Hischak said.

CarePath Respiratory Pathway

Linda Colsen, Vice President of Customer Experience for One Call, joined us to discuss her organization's new program: CarePath Respiratory Pathway.


The program aims to support “individuals suffering from lingering COVID-19 complications and symptoms long after test results read negative,” according to One Call's website.


CarePath Respiratory Pathway helps individuals navigate acute respiratory distress syndrome, blood clots, acute kidney injury and more.

Don’t Miss a Beat


The pandemic has forced arts organizations to get creative in their outreach. We spoke toUlysses Owens Jr., Artistic Director forDon’t Miss a Beat, about how he’s reaching kids through art education.

The organization is leading virtual classes to create a continuum of service for youth and the community.


“We want to stay engaged and help the kids keep their spirits up… My goal is not to find the next Mozart or Misty Copeland,” said Owens, who emphasized constancy for the program’s success.

Don’t Miss a Beat boasts positive statistics of student success in behavioral outcomes, academic improvement, and peer relationships.


Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.


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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.