September 19, 2020

I am Scared (part 1)

I am Scared

I have worked for this company since I was able to work. They are closing their doors. This is the only work I have done since I lived in this area. Now what should I do? How will I pay my bills? I am told I will receive unemployment for a short time while I look for a new job.

I am Scared.

I go to the unemployment office, but I am so scared and confused. How do I find a job online? I don’t know how to use a computer. I don’t understand how to “search for a job”. I don’t speak English.

I am Scared.

Not only do I not have a job, now I don’t have medical insurance. I have high blood pressure and the doctor wants me to take medicine and come monthly for check-ups. I don’t know how to pay for doctor appointments without insurance, so I won’t go. I don’t know what I will do when I run out of my medicine.

I am Scared.

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This has been a common story since a local company recently closed its doors. One Hope In a Storm (HIS) client, Sue*, had been applying for jobs for 3 weeks and had written down the places and dates she applied. But then she learned she would not receive unemployment benefits since she did not correctly report her efforts to the local unemployment office, she became scared. She contacted HIS. We stepped up as her advocate.

Advocacy, in this case, was sitting beside Sue and encouraging her to tell the unemployment office her story.  In broken English, Sue explained that she did not understand she was required to come in each week to check in. The previous week HIS was with her when she talked with someone about a lost credit card, where her unemployment was deposited. That same day with the help of a HIS advocate, Sue went to the local library and was able to apply for an job online.

While at the unemployment office, Sue was informed she needed to take one more step: she was to sign in at another computer. She did not understand that step. With compassion, the Unemployment office employee assisted Sue and was able to recover 3 weeks unemployment benefits by reporting, language barrier, as the reason Sue did not report for 3 weeks.

Advocacy in this story was giving needed information, with Sue’s permission. Encouraging Sue to tell the unemployment office that she did not understand the process, teaching her to use computer at Library to search for jobs. Assisting her with filling out an online application for work and being with her as an emotional support.

 

Continue along Sue's journey by reading part 2  HERE

*Names have been changed

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