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Post by shayshay Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:40 am

Hmm where to start… I’ve only ever had one job in my life. I worked for about four and a half months at McDonald’s when I was 16. I’m 20 now. I didn’t look very hard for a job in high school, but now I need one.

I recently moved in with my boyfriend, who, at the moment, is supporting both of us basically on his own. We’re lucky enough that my dad still pays for my cell phone (but I know he wants me off of his plan ASAP). He also made me go grocery shopping with him earlier this week so he could buy me some food. Other than that, we just have whatever my boyfriend’s (henceforth known as E) paycheck is. He makes more than minimum wage, but hasn’t been getting 40 hours a week lately. He’s been making less than $400 a week, and the number just keeps getting lower. This week it was about $360. They’re supposed to get more hours starting around Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t help us right now.

I don’t have a car or a license, and we live in a small town, so my employment search is limited to whatever is within walking distance. The brake lines on E’s car recently started leaking too. He might be able to have a coworker fix them tomorrow, but if he can’t, I’m not sure what we’ll do. We have almost no savings, and we live paycheck to paycheck. If he can’t get to work, he’s out of a job. My dad has been taking him the past couple days (they work together), but they don’t work the same days, so he needs his own car. I’m really hoping his coworker can fix it, but if he can’t, and we’re both out of a job, we’re screwed.

I applied for food stamps online last month, but we haven’t finished the process yet. I need to call and make an appointment to talk with a worker or whatever, but I have social anxiety, which makes it hard for me to talk on the phone, among other things. I feel like I’m just making excuses, but it’s true… Ugh. E really doesn’t want food stamps. He says it’s a pride thing. But we need them. I’m afraid they’ll say he makes too much for us to get much, but I suppose something is better than nothing. (Wait, we can still get them if we’re not married, right? We do live together…)

I’ve been looking into other help for us too. Food pantries, rent assistance, homeless shelters… We’re not homeless currently. We rent from my uncle. $550 a month for the upper level of the house, utilities, satellite TV, and WiFi. I guess we’re kind of spoiled that way. But I’m not sure we can afford it. We’ve only been here about a month, and we paid the first month a little bit per week. I don’t think my uncle really liked that though. But I don’t think E’s checking account has ever had $550 in it at once. I’m not sure how we’ll make it this month. I don’t think we can get rent assistance for living here either, since it’s not really formal, no lease or anything. So researching homeless shelters is just in case, I guess. (But do they let you stay in them if you’re employed? I’m not sure of how that all works. But let’s hope it never comes to that.)

Supposedly our local thrift store has a food pantry on certain days, but I’m not sure what we need to use it or if we’d even be allowed to. I really need to get food stamps figured out. Apparently if we don’t get it done by the 13th of this month, we’ll be denied. Ugh, stupid social phobia and pride getting in the way... I’m not sure what other resources might be available to us or how to get them. But I’m worried they’ll all say E makes too much money for us to get anything, or we can only get the absolute minimum (not that I wouldn’t appreciate even a little bit, but still…).

I wish we could live in the city (Madison, WI, specifically). I feel like it would be easier there. I could take the bus or taxi everywhere. They have a very low unemployment rate there, so I could probably find a job a lot more easily there. It’d be hard to find a decent apartment for cheap, but maybe we would qualify for rent assistance. E would be closer to work, so he could either take a bus or taxi, or if he had to drive, it’d be a much shorter distance, so less gas consumed and less stress on the car. But we can’t move there yet. We have nothing saved up. We JUST moved to where we are now (and my uncle needs the rent money to supplement his income, or at least that’s what my dad says). I’m not sure how we’d even move there, especially if E’s car doesn’t get fixed (but it needs to, ASAP). Getting rent assistance seems like a difficult process and what if we couldn’t get it anymore if/when I found a job? Basically I’m screwed where I am, and I can’t go to where it’d be easier. I don’t know what to do.

E gets really depressed about finances, and so do I, although I don’t tell him. One of us has to be level-headed… I don’t tell him how worried I am. I think he’s so stressed with paying and fixing and figuring out everything else that he hasn’t even considered how we’ll pay rent this month. But I think I’m lucky I have people I love and care about who also love and care about me. I’m not sure what else would stop me from jumping in front of a truck. I just feel so useless. It doesn’t seem fair that I’m such a burden on the people I love. I can’t drive, I can’t find a job. I try not to eat too much so we don’t have to spend so much on groceries (and I don’t make that easy, since I’m a vegetarian while E is not).

I feel so hopeless. I’m sure employers see that my only job experience was very short and a very long time ago and decide I must be a bad choice for an employee. I’m sure they wonder why I haven’t been employed since January 2009. Or, if they call my previous employer, they likely don’t have very many good things to say about me. So I have limited experience, no training, no skills, no references. I can’t get even the most basic entry-level position. No one wants to hire me. It doesn’t seem fair. How can I get experience if no one will hire me? It’s an awful paradox. I’m worried about myself, and I’m especially worried about E. I don’t know what we’ll do if I can’t find a job. I don’t want to end up homeless. I don’t know what to do. I’m useless. I just want a job, any job. I just want to be useful and helpful for once in my life so we don’t have to be so stressed and depressed and worried. But I don’t know what to do. Ugh. I think I’m done ranting now.


Posts : 1
Join date : 2012-08-04
Age : 32
Location : Wisconsin

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Post by Guest Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:59 am

Welcome to the forum!

The first thing you need to do is get your drivers' license. I also live in a small tow there are no businesses in,the are and no public transportation. For that reason, I have had my license since I was 16.

You definitely need to get over your anxiety about food stamps. I have always had well paying jobs, but when my unemployment ran out 2 and a half years ago, I swallowed my pride and did what I had to do to survive. I never dreamed I would be on food stamps and when I first got them, I would only go to grocery stores with self check out because I was embarrassed. I learned very quickly there is no shame for receiving SNAP, especiallyhere in RI, with the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country. You would be surprised at the people who have swallowed their pride in order to feed their families.

You should call the United Way Hotline at 211 to see if there are any nonprofit and private agencies that can proved you with other services you need. There are several where I livethat many people have benefited from.

If you are eligible for food stamps, you are eligible for free cell phone service. The carrier depends on where you live. It is usually 250 minutes a month. Check out Safelink Wireless, Assurance or Cintex.

Good luck and hang in there. Millions are in the same situation as you, it seems to be the new "norm". Take advantage of programs and services available to you and KEEP LOOKING FOR A JOB! You are young, that is an advantage you have over many of us!


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Post by Jobless_in_Ma Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:02 pm

DesperateinRi has given you some very good advice. Do not let pride get in the way when it comes to trying to survive. Things aren't as they were even 5 yrs ago. People o all walks Of life are struggling right now.
In the midst of all of this the important thing is to try and stay optimistic.

Posts : 2348
Join date : 2011-02-16
Age : 50
Location : Ma

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