We keep hearing from moms and women from around the country who are struggling to make ends meet and terrified that they are going to lose their unemployment benefits. Kimberly and Andrea have experiences shared by so many people out there. MomsRising is going to continue to advocate for the jobless and push Congress to pass an extension of unemployment insurance as soon as possible. If you would like to add your voice to this fight, reach out to your members of Congress here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/ExtendUI/.
Kimberly's (Stanton, CA) story:
I have been unemployed for 3 years now. At first I didn't want to be one of those statistics on unemployment and I thought I would get a job right away. After 2 years I had used up all of my 401K and savings and was forced to go on unemployment insurance. I am a Raw Material Buyer for Aerospace and last year I went back to school and got a certification in Business Management through a free government program. I still cannot find a job and depend on unemployment to pay my bills. If my unemployment runs out I will probably lose my house. Please don't let this happen.
Andrea's (Springfield, NJ) story:
After 27 years of raising a family of three children, building equity in a home, paying taxes, contributing to charities and helping our parents, my husband's job was killed by automation. Dan has worked since he was 12 years old at various jobs and has never, ever been a lazy person. He had a wonderful career as a floor broker on the NYSE, had his own firm and employed several people. Automation rendered his job obsolete in the eyes of society. He rarely missed a day of work, was on the floor the day of 9/11 and narrowly avoided being on the subway at the World Trade Center and lost several friends that day. He was back to work as soon as the exchange reopened. He has tried several trading positions and has been unsuccessful at making a profit.
We almost lost our home to foreclosure but managed to sell it first. Dan finally got another position at a trading firm and was let go September of 2012. We rented an apartment and had to move when the rent became unmanageable, moved in September of 2013 and were told by the owners that they were selling this place and we have to move again by March 1st. Where the money to move will come from I have no idea?
I have my small salary and we were relying on unemployment to help us through as my husband looks for work. No one wants to hire a 53-year-old man with such a specific skill set. I work for a church run pre-school and keep applying to new jobs to improve my salary but this is also next to impossible. We send resumes out into the cyber void and are never called. I have qualified for State Health Insurance and we are waiting to hear from them.
At this point in our lives we should be taking care of ourselves and I am afraid we won't be able to pay for Dan’s asthma medicine. Our children have to lend us money. What can we do? My life has become a stressful living hell; owing friends and relatives money we don't know how to repay. We were always the givers and the caretakers and this is just killing both of us.
To have UI taken away at this time is just the last straw. At least I get to leave the house in the morning and interact with people. Dan has nothing and now is more depressed than ever. He is ashamed and I don't know what the answer will be for us. To take away the only source of income for people is just a horrible thing to do at this point. I am hoping that the collective consciences of our elected officials will win out over the horrible game of politics that is leading our country down the path of destruction. We need job growth and in the meantime something to help our citizens survive.
If you are interested in sharing your story and thoughts on unemployment with MomsRising (and possibly having your experience posted on this blog) please go here: https://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/unemployment-stories/.
Part 1 of this series can be found here: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/voices-of-the-unemployed-part-1/, Part 2 can be found here: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/voices-of-the-unemployed-part-2/ , Part 3 can be found here: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/tashas-story-voices-of-the-unemployed-part-3/ and Part 4 can be found here: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/voices-of-the-unemployed-part-4/.