For Francisco Gomez de la Torre, a hotel job as a banquet server helped make his American dream come true.

From that first job 18 years ago at a hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, Gomez de la Torre built a career as a hotel manager that helped support his family in Peru, and eventually allowed him to bring his wife and daughter to live with him in Lancaster. Then last year, after years of commuting from Lancaster to hotels in nearby cities, he got a job as a conference manager at the downtown Lancaster Holiday Inn.

But in March, as restrictions designed to limit the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a standstill, Gomez de la Torre lost that job, finding himself once again back at square one.

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Restaurant owner in kitchen