Family and Children's Advocacy

The pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives

Source: Washington Post

The pandemic crept up on Lakeisha Rollins one text at a time.

When the coronavirus hit the District in March, the 30-year-old was working at the Whole Foods Market on P Street NW, pulling items off shelves to fill online orders. Rollins, who is studying to become a nursing assistant, got a message that one of her co-workers had tested positive. The next day, another text alerted her about another positive employee. By April, six workers at the store had contracted the virus.

For Rollins — who has a 10-year-old and a baby arriving in August — the health risk was too much. A fan of “The Walking Dead,” she left her job and decided to wall her son and herself off from the outside like survivors barricading against zombies.

That meant a tough decision. She had about $500 in the bank and was eligible for pandemic assistance because she left her job over a health concern.

Until those benefits kicked in, should she buy food or pay the rent?

Read full story here.