The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Employment Opportunities

It has [been hard finding a job, and] everybody’s blaming it on the economy. But there’s plenty of jobs out there…  the reason why I know that I haven’t found a job yet is because I haven’t been able to go out [to job sites] because of my money situation. ‘Cause I know if I spend two dollars [on bus fare] I might need that for Pampers…
That's at the library. I go there to fill out job applications. I try to take the kids once in a while but mainly when they're in school that’s where I’m at.
"It never ends because I got through one stack of papers to file like that this week. I have another stack that big in a drawer, plus the lady keeps coming and bringing more and more paperwork.  I’m like, how the heck am I going to get through all this paperwork? My supervisor said, 'Oh no, you’re not going to get through it. You’re never gonna finish and it’s never going to be gone.'"

"I take the bus to work. That’s why I had the picture of the two bus tokens. My sad, little tokens, because it was these two tokens that I had left for three more days of getting to work. Welfare said they couldn’t give me any more bus fare money because they already gave it to me. But of course, my priority is to feed my kids. I know that going to the job is going to pay me eventually, but I can’t let them starve all week long. So, I’m going to use that money to feed them first."

Those are my swollen feet when I got home today, after waiting tables.  That’s what my feet look like, they hurt.  It’s not easy.  I’m doing it because my kids needed clothes and sneakers.

"That’s a picture of my miserable tips today. It's $5, for six hours of work."

I was working for Lowe’s making $13.04 an hour. I lost my job because Welfare didn’t put their paperwork through and I lost my child care provider. I didn’t lose my job because I wanted to not work. I lost my job because in two weeks they would’ve fired me anyway for not showing up...

Let’s say Welfare is giving me this money… every two weeks I get a check but I still have to make with these hands money. Because my kids still need to eat for those two weeks. So they say food banks… the food banks give you canned food. Who’s gonna eat cans of tomato sauce? Nobody. I may do someone’s hair and be able to get noodles with that tomato sauce to feed the kids, to feed myself.

I was on my way to the overtime job that I was doing when I got my food stamps cut off.  They had called me to work there for one day.  So, I was thinking to myself, “Well, if I go down here this one day, are they going cut my food stamps off?  I really didn’t know what to do.  At the time I was walking through there, it made me think, “Was I going to get cut off again?” What kind of programs can the City do to help us stay on the food stamp program when we do extra work?  I don’t think it’s fair for us to get reprimanded for doing something positive.  That’s why I chose that picture."



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