Future uncertain for newly unemployed: ‘It's scary, I live paycheck to paycheck’

"It's Scary, I live paycheck to paycheck, I'm not sure what I'm going to do."
Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 18:28:25-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- As more businesses close their doors in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, unemployment numbers continue to rise in Virginia and across the country.

Katy Sober Brown is one of many people who find themselves without a job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's such a Scary time, especially having a little one," said Brown while holding the hand of her young daughter.

Brown recently lost her waitressing job in Colonial Heights.

She believed she would only be out of work a short time, but now she’s hearing it could be until June.

"Initially I was told from my restaurant job that I would be back by mid-April," said Brown. "June 10 is Terrifying."

June 10 is when Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order is set to expire, meaning some people may be able to go back to work then.

"It's really tough," said Mickey Fuller, standing on a sidewalk in Old Towne Petersburg.

Fuller was laid off in mid-March.

"It's scary, I live paycheck to paycheck, I'm not sure what I'm going to do," he said.

Money wise it's a terrifying time," said Brown who just received her first unemployment check. "So, my first check was $175."

Mickey has also filed for unemployment.

"I have filed my 2 weeks, I qualified for but I haven't seen any money from it yet," he said.

Walking through Old Towne Petersburg, closed signs are just about everywhere.

At the Dixie Restaurant, full and part time staffing went from about 20, down to three.

Co-owner Frannie Rawlings says she started a GoFundMe page. She says it brought in about a week’s payroll for their employees.

"We definitely wanted to keep people with some cash flow for as long as we can," she added.

Rawlings concern now is when this is over, can she get her employee's back?

"I really do hope that the majority of them will come back when the time comes… that we can bring them all back," said Rawlings.

State officials are urging those who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic to file an unemployment claim, even if you've previously been rejected.

Unemployment applications can be submitted online and over the phone, but officials encourage anyone who can to apply online to reduce backlog time.

For more information, or to apply, click here.