A New Jersey motel owner is doing more than just renting out rooms — he’s offering a home to the homeless.
Good Samaritan Brian Acosta Arya — better known online as Brian the Motel Guy — shot to TikTok fame after the internet discovered his family’s Lincoln Tunnel Motel in North Bergen, NJ.
For Arya, the bottom line is kindness.
“I’m happy to give people in need free rooms,” Arya, 34, a co-proprietor of the motel, told The Post.
He was gifted partial ownership of the motel by his elderly father, George, five years ago, and has since transformed the once-frowned-upon inn into a haven for the impoverished.
“I’ve paid our $75 room rate out of my own pocket just to make sure that someone has somewhere safe and warm to stay overnight,” he said.
Since the dawn of the pandemic, Arya’s humble haunt — a timeworn roadhouse sans frills and luxuries that’s 10 minutes away from the Lincoln Tunnel — has provided free and discounted lodging, food and services to folks who’ve been displaced due to the COVID-19 outbreak or other personal tragedy.
“When the pandemic hit, people were losing their homes, and local shelters were filling up quickly and turning people away,” said Arya, who grew up in a neighboring motel that his father also owned. “And I wanted to help get people off of the streets, so I opened the doors of the Lincoln Tunnel Motel to anyone in the area.”
And Arya’s altruism has amassed trending TikTok notoriety thanks to his hilarious, albeit heartfelt clips, detailing his daily duties as a the manger of a business that’s dedicated to serving the under-resourced rather than turning a profit. His popular posts even earned him an appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in November.
“I get criticized for taking in the people other motels don’t want,” he said in a recently viral video that’s fetched more than 15.1 million views. “Because, their words not mine, ‘I’m only encouraging bad behavior.’ ”
But Arya says he’s motivated by the difference he is making by serving as an ally for the less fortunate rather than by money.
“This motel is not about making money,” he insisted. “It’s about improving the lives of people who are not in the best living or financial situations right now.”
And when it comes to out-of-town visitors in search of a fancy squat near the Big Apple, Arya advises them to find accommodations with his motel’s competitors.
“This place isn’t for tourists,” he said. “Tourists have other hotel options in the area.”
“This motel will always be the affordable place where local people who need shelter can stay and get support and respect from me and my employees,” he assured.
And Arya hopes his good deeds become as trendy as his TikToks.
“I want the Lincoln Tunnel Motel to be a beacon of hope for this community and for my followers all over the world,” he said. “And if the best thing I can do to spread that beam of hope is give a room to someone in need, then I’m happy to do so.”
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